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US may reenter TPP

The US is looking at rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The main aim is to counter China. The US intends to renegotiate the trade pact and sign revised free trade agreements with Japan, South Korea and Canada. TPP was proposed in 2010. As a multilateral trade framework outside the World Trade Organization, the TPP intends to further reduce tariff barriers and enhance unified market rules including intellectual property protection.

The trade pact was widely seen as a way to press China into further lowering tariffs, opening markets and complying with rules drafted by developed nations. However, the US decided to withdraw from the TPP in January this year. Also the United States and the European Union have agreed to avoid an all-out trade war and work towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods.

The EU also plans to buy more US liquefied natural gas and soybeans. Both sides will also iron out disputes on steel and aluminum exports. The US is likely to sign trade pacts with other trading partners, including Japan, South Korea, and Canada. These agreements among developed nations would represent nearly 90 per cent of the global economy. In this way the US hopes to force China to make more concessions in lowering tariffs, reducing subsidies, opening up markets, and enhancing intellectual property rights protection.

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