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‘No appetite’ for major TPP changes to accommodate US: Australia

SYDNEY There is "no appetite" among the Trans-Pacific Partnership signatories for major re-negotiations to accommodate the US, Australia said yesterday after President Donald Trump indicated he was considering rejoining the pact.

Mr Trump said on Thursday the US could re-enter the TPP if it could get a "better" deal, a major U-turn after leaving the Pacific trade pact last year and calling it a jobs killer.

But Australia's Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said he "can't see any appetite for any kind of wholesale re-negotiations of the TPP deal to accommodate the United States".

"Now don't get me wrong, that's not saying we don't want the Americans back in, we do," Mr Ciobo told Sky News Australia.

"But what I am saying is I can't see us unpicking all the stitching that brought this deal together to accommodate the US at this point."

Eleven Asia-Pacific nations signed a slimmed-down version of the trade agreement, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), last month.

The signatories are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, representing 13.5 per cent of the global economy. The 11 countries form a market of 500 million people.

The deal was signed just before Mr Trump slapped steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminium, and also before tit-for-tat warnings between the US and China over imposing levies on each other's goods. - AFP

BUSINESS & FINANCE