US president Donald Trump’s decision not to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is disappointing, although not unexpected.
That’s the view of Australian trade minister Steve Ciobo, who remains optimistic the multinational trade pact will still take shape.
“The TPP is too important as a driver of the creation of more Australian jobs not to do all we can to see the agreement enter into force,” Ciobo explained.
“It promises new export opportunities for our farmers, services suppliers and goods exporters. It promises to support the growth of trade in our region, contributing to economic growth.”
Ciobo attended the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, where he met with trade representatives from Japan, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, New Zealand and Malaysia to discuss the fate of the TPP. Ciobo said he and his counterparts are looking at ways to lock in the benefits negotiated under the TPP, without the United States if need be.
“The shape this takes will be the subject of discussion over coming months,” Ciobo said. “A number of options are available to us and there is a strong desire to ensure the benefits of the TPP are not lost.”
President Trump’s withdrawal from the TPP came after he appointed former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue as his agriculture secretary last week.
Meanwhile, Australia will continue to build on its own trade ties with the US through the G’Day USA programme, which will include promotional events in New York, Texas and Los Angeles this week. Fresh Australian produce will be among the items showcased during the festivities.
Ciobo will attend the celebrations, where he plans to continue “advocating the benefits of liberalised trade.”