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Since the end of World War II, the foundation of Asia’s prosperity, economic integration, and political stability has been the U.S.-led liberal order. That order took a hit on January 23, when President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation free trade agreement covering the Asia-Pacific region.
Leaders of the 11 remaining TPP member states are scrambling to save the agreement, which has been in negotiation for nine years, and on which they have expended significant political capital. The TPP was negotiated as a hub-and-spokes deal, connecting a number of smaller economies to the central hub of the United States. Without U.S. participation, most of the other countries will have relatively little incentive to continue. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe admitted as much after the U.S. election, saying that a “TPP without the United States is meaningless.”
Ministers of TPP members