16:30 | 22/01/2018 Cooperation
The prime ministers of Australia and Japan committed to having the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) signed by March.
|Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull (R) and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe - Photo: EPA|
The commitment was made during talks between Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on January 18.
The trade pact replaces the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement after President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the TPP in January 2017.
In his speech following the talks, Turnbull said: "Our strong preference is for all 11 countries to join the first wave but our focus is on bringing a new TPP agreement into force as soon as possible with those who are ready to move."
"We are consciously setting it up to enable and encourage the United States to dock in should it choose to do so in the future," he added.
Eleven countries met at the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Da Nang city of Vietnam in November 2017 to keep alive the deal after the US withdrew.
Negotiators will meet in Tokyo next week in the hope of smoothing out obstacles to the CPTPP.