Meeting in Chile, ministers praise Pacific Rim trade pact

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — The trade ministers of Singapore, Japan and New Zealand are highlighting the benefits to their countries of a Pacific Rim trade agreement formed after President Donald Trump abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

When Trump rejected the Trans-Pacific Partnership after he took office in 2017, the 11 nations remaining amended the pact to enable it to take effect without Washington's participation. They created the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, which took effect late last year.

In Chile, trade ministers said Thursday that in its first quarter of validity, the pact had increased their exports and raised expectations of economic growth. The officials are attending an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting.

Japan's Kiyoto Tsuji said that with the approval of the CPTPP, his country's economy is expected to grow 1.5%, while New Zealand trade minister David Parker said his country's trade with Japan grew 25% and with Canada 8.4%.

Singapore trade and industry minister Chan Chun Sing called the agreement "an important part of international trade ... to resist protectionism."

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