The US is very likely to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.
But the deal is worth it. The other eleven signatories should try to make a go of it.
A TPP without the US is still a lot better for Japan and the other partners than no TPP at all. A TPP would establish rules and standards that would benefit its members, including protections for labor, the environment, intellectual property and digital commerce. The reforms required under the deal would make their economies more competitive and efficient. Their export industries will still gain from expanded trade; their consumers will still gain from cheaper goods.
Even without the US, the TPP would put allies such as Japan, Singapore and Australia, rather than China, at the forefront of trade liberalization, giving other nations an alternative to which they can aspire. By deepening the integration of Asia’s economies, the pact would promote stability in a critical and volatile region.
Eventually, as the benefits of a TPP become evident, the US might have second thoughts and come back into the fold. The best way for the US to maintain its decades of influence in the Asia-Pacific region is to integrate the world’s biggest economy with the world’s fastest-growing markets.