Eleven participants of the TPP, excluding the U.S., formally signed a new “TPP 11” agreement in Santiago, Chile on March 8 (early on March 9 Japan time). The 11 nations will now proceed with their domestic ratification procedures in order to make the accord go into force as soon as within this year.
The new agreement will take effect with the ratification of six member states. The Japanese government plans to submit the agreement to the current Diet session for ratification as early as June. While the target date for the effectuation has been “early 2019,” a source close to the negotiations revealed that, “Many other countries would also like to rush their domestic procedures, so it is possible that the accord may take effect as soon as within this year.
The TPP 11 agreement clearly indicates that new members are welcome to join the group. Rules on membership will be drawn up before the accord takes effect.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump has stated since January that the U.S. may return to the TPP on the condition of renegotiating the agreement. However, the 11 nations intend to give priority to effectuating the accord at an early date. (Abridged)