Trade allies proceed without the U.S.
Canada, Japan, 9 other countries are forming new bartering group
HONG KONG — President Donald Trump shook up the world economic order this year by pulling the United States out of a major international trade pact and raising fundamental questions about its global role.
Today, the world is moving on without it.
A group of 11 countries announced Saturday that they had committed to resurrecting a multinational trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, without the United States. A new deal, which would have to be signed and ratified by each country, would include major U.S. allies like Japan, Canada and Mexico. Collectively, they account for about a sixth of global trade.
The agreement will “serve as a foundation for building a broader freetrade area” across Asia, Taro Kono, Japan’s foreign minister, said in a statement.
Pointedly, the potential members of what is now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership came to an early agreement on the broad outline of a deal while many of their leaders were meeting with Trump in Vietnam — itself a potential member of the new trading group.
Some details of a new deal, including when rules would be phased in, still need to be determined, and prospective member states like Canada raised lastminute concerns. But a new deal could be announced as soon as early next year.
Other countries are making progress on their own trade deals, without any participation from the United States.
China is negotiating a potential deal with 16 AsiaPacific countries, including Japan, India and South Korea.
The European Union and Japan hope to strike separate trade pacts with a group of South American countries, Brazil and Argentina among them.
Trump’s administration has questioned years of efforts to lower global trade barriers, arguing that they hurt U.S. workers and led to big trade deficits. It also means dealing with nations one-on-one.
But other factors are pushing the rest of the world to fill the void left by the United States. China’s rise as a regional and economic power is driving other nations either to join with it or to join together to counter it.
More worrying for some is the possibility that the Trump administration is ceding its position as global leader to China.
“The U.S. has lost its leadership role,” said Jayant Menon, an economist at the Asian Development Bank.
President Donald Trump greets children waving American and Vietnamese flags as he arrives Saturday at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi. Trump’s five-country trip through Asia included stops in Japan, South Korea and China. His last stop will be...