TOKYO — Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Thursday his government will seek the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal without the United States by March.
Turnbull, who is in Tokyo for talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made the comment at a luncheon hosted by a bilateral business committee, as 11 members of the Pacific Rim deal have been striving to implement the pact even after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from it last year.
Turnbull said Australia will make preparations so that the United States can eventually return to the pact.
Japan and Chile also aim to sign the TPP by March, while Canada has indicated it will not be rushed into signing the agreement.
The 11 TPP countries also include Brunei, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.