Japan’s parliament Friday ratified the Trans-Pacific Partnership despite the deals likely dismissal by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.
The Wall Street Journal called the move by Japan a “mostly symbolic step” because of Trump’s opposition to the trade agreement. Trump repeated campaign promises in a video last month saying he would pull the U.S. out of the trade accord on his first day in office.
If he follows through, Japan could pursue TPP without the United States, or negotiate a bilateral deal with the U.S. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged that the odds are against him, but said he still hopes to persuade Trump to revive TPP.
Several of Trump’s cabinet selections have endorsed or spoken favorably about the trade pact, possibly leaving the door for TPP slightly open.
Meanwhile, talks between Japan and the European Union on a free trade deal between the two are likely to accelerate in the coming months, if the United States backs away from TPP.