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Japan, U.S. urged to lead work on new Indo-Pacific economic bloc

Washington, Feb. 17 (Jiji Press)–Japan and the United States should lead work to establish a new economic bloc in the Indo-Pacific region, former Japanese and U.S. chief negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement suggested Thursday.


During an online event hosted by Japan Society in New York, former Japanese TPP minister Akira Amari and former U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, who both played a key role in leading the TPP negotiations to a broad agreement in October 2015, also underlined the need for measures to keep in check China, which is challenging the international economic order.


Amari and Froman noted that the United States is unlikely to return any time soon to the TPP while stressing that a new Indo-Pacific economic framework proposed by the administration of current U.S. President Joe Biden as an alternative to the TPP should be created at an early time.


   The United States in January 2017 announced its withdrawal from the TPP framework under the administration of then President Donald Trump.


Economic integration in Asia, seen as the world’s growth center, is an issue of critical importance for the international community, Amari said. With China in mind, Amari called for the acceleration of the efforts to “create standards encompassing the values of Western countries, such as democracy and the rule of law.”

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