DA NANG, Vietnam – Trade ministers from the 11 remaining signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement pushed ahead on Thursday with talks to revive the free trade deal on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the city of Da Nang in Vietnam.
The United States had pulled out of the agreement earlier in the year and the ministers are trying to pull off a new agreement before the leaders’ summit on Friday.
“The aim is to boost TPP so that it continues as an agreement and a platform for commercial integration,” Mexico’s Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray said in a statement, confirming that President Enrique Peña Nieto will meet leaders of the other TPP member nations on Friday.
“Mexico believes in the TPP and we are going to keep pushing until it materializes into a platform for commercial integration for the Asia Pacific,” Videgaray added.
The future of the free trade agreement, which also includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore, has been uncertain since US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw from it in January.
Although it is not an official part of the program, TPP negotiations is one of the main focal points of the APEC summit that ends on Saturday.
Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski had earlier hinted at an announcement regarding the future of the agreement by the end of the summit.