Now that the US is more or less out of the TPP, Japan is mobilizing remaining members. Japan, as leader, is seeking a path forward for free trade in Asia. This country is now the largest member of TPP. A revived TPP with Japan at the head could dent China’s hegemony in the region.
The pact would boost Japan’s real gross domestic product by 1.11 per cent. Preserving the TPP could also stem the anti-globalist tide that has swept the world in the form of Trump’s ascent and the UK’s move to leave the European Union.
The new US administration has taken a fairly short-term approach to trade, showing little interest in creating rules for free trade under multilateral framework -- the founding principle of the TPP. Japan's plan of advancing that cause with other nations and dealing with the US one-on-one for now leaves room for an American return to the framework in future.
However, a revamped TPP does present tough questions for Japan, such as what to do with import quotas for rice and milk that were set with eleven trading partners, including the US, in mind. Japan will also face the challenge of responding to US requests one-on-one for greater market liberalization than the TPP would have provided.