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Remaining TPP Members Vow to Move Forward Without US

Trade leaders of the 11 remaining countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have agreed to continue working to finalize the deal without US participation.

Reuters reports that the TPP, which was considered dead when US President Donald Trump pulled out after taking office, may carry on without the world's largest economy.

TPP originally included 12 nations that made up roughly 40% of the global economy, but America's withdrawal under President Trump's anti-free trade agenda left the deal's future in doubt.

According to the news source, the trade ministers of the 11 remaining countries met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum held in Hanoi last weekend to discuss the trade pact.

The Wall Street Journal shares that the ministers released a statement saying that they had agreed to "launch a process to asses options to bring the comprehensive, high-quality agreement into force."

Todd McClay, New Zealand's trade minister, told the forum that the US is still welcomed to return to TPP.

"It's clear that each country is having to consider both the economic values and strategic importance of this agreement, but in the end there is a lot of unity among all of the countries and a great desire to work together to come up with an agreement among the 11 that not only delivers for all of our economies and the people of our countries, it's also open to other countries in the world to join if they can meet the high standards in the TPP agreement," he said.

However, the WSJ adds that the deal may lose some of its appeal since access to the US market was a major draw for nations like Malaysia and Vietnam.

The 11 TPP nations will meet again in Japan in July and present proposals on how to facilitate the trade agreement at the APEC summit in Da Nang in November.

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