TPP Ministers Call for Enhancing Open Trade System

Economy Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 19 (Jiji Press)--Ministerial officials from the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries underscored the need to enhance an open trade system and expressed their willingness to accept new members, in a joint statement wrapping up their meeting in Tokyo on Saturday.

The joint statement showed the commitment of the 11 countries including Japan, Australia and Singapore to promoting free trade through multilateral cooperation, at a time when the United States under President Donald Trump is pushing ahead with protectionist policies after withdrawing from the original TPP pact in January 2017.

The current TPP members held the first ministerial meeting of the decision-making TPP commission since the revised pact, known as the TPP-11, entered into force on Dec. 30.

Speaking at the start of the meeting, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for proactively promoting high-standard rules for free and fair trade around the world.

The joint statement said that "amid growing concerns over recent trends toward protectionism," the TPP ministers "shared the view that it is of paramount importance to maintain and further strengthen the principles of an effective, open, inclusive and rules-based trading system."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press