TOKYO — The Japanese government on Tuesday approved the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact without the United States.
Ministers from 11 participating countries are scheduled to gather in Chile on Thursday to sign the deal, paving the way for it to take effect in early 2019. Japan’s TPP minister Toshimitsu Motegi is expected to attend the signing ceremony.
The pact, called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, will cover around 13 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. It will go into effect 60 days after at least six countries complete domestic approval procedures.
Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the world’s largest economy out of the TPP, forcing the 11 other countries to tweak the original version of the trade treaty signed in February 2016. They managed to finalize the revised version in January.
But the president has said that the United States would consider rejoining the free trade pact if Washington can strike a “substantially better” agreement.
The 11 countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.