December 1, 2016


'The Mother of All Deals': Abe Could Gift Trump a Trade Pact : A bilateral trade deal between the U.S. and Japan would leave other would-be TPP members behind. (Anthony Fensom, November 30, 2016, The Diplomat)

Both Abe and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have reportedly attempted to convince Trump to stick to the pact, which took over a decade to negotiate and encompasses some 40 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). Abe was the first foreign leader to meet the new U.S. president-in-waiting after his upset election victory, presenting him with a set of golf clubs, with some suggesting that Trump could enlist Abe as his "man in Asia."

"I think they both have a track record of pragmatism. Pragmatism on both sides is going to make their relationship somewhat productive," Stephen Nagy, associate professor of politics and international affairs at the International Christian University in Tokyo, told Australia's ABC News.

Despite Trump's pledge, Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party has vowed to have the TPP ratified by Japan's parliament by mid-December, underscoring the nation's support for the pact. According to Japan's Nikkei, Japanese public opinion on the TPP is evenly split, with 37 percent in favor and 37 percent against, although Abe's Cabinet has retained a high public approval rating of 58 percent.

Australia's leader also spoke to Trump soon after the U.S. presidential elections, saying he was confident the president-elect would maintain his nation's influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

"That commitment, I am certain, will continue," Turnbull said. Both leaders entered into politics after making their fortunes in business - a similarity noted by the center-right Australian leader.

"I suppose as both being businessmen who found our way into politics, somewhat later in life, we come to the problems of our own nations and indeed world problems with a pragmatic approach," Turnbull said.

The Australian leader has also noted the "strong support among the other 11 parties to the TPP to ratify it and to seek to bring it into force."

Posted by at December 1, 2016 5:53 PM