Mexico this week became the first of 11 countries to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) – the former Trans-Pacific Partnership – on a 73-24 vote of its Senate. The agreement will go into effect when six of the 11 nations approve it. (In addition to Mexico, the CPTPP consists of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.)
Also this week, Japan announced that Toshimitsu Motegi, its economic and fiscal policy minister, will visit Thailand in early May to discuss the agreement, which Thailand hopes to join. Japan anticipates the trip will place pressure on the United States to rejoin the pact. President Trump earlier this month directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow to consider rejoining the TPP, but he voiced his preference for a bilateral trade agreement with Japan rather than the multilateral CPTPP. Japan is the U.S. pork industry’s No. 1 export market.