Trump rejecting TPP hurts Abe in economics, security, politics
An announcement by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump effectively dashed the Abe administration’s persistent hopes for an international deal that would be a pillar of Japan’s economic growth strategy and a buttress for national security.
Trump, in a YouTube video released on Nov. 21, said one of the first things he will do after taking office on Jan. 20 is remove the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade arrangement.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had gone to great lengths to cement the deal, insisting it could promote economic growth in Japan without requiring huge government outlays. In addition, such a trade agreement centered on Japan and the United States could serve as a key counterpoint to China’s recent flexing of its political and economic muscle.
The Lower House passed TPP-related legislation over the angry criticism of opposition parties, despite the fact that both Trump and his Democratic Party election rival, Hillary Clinton, were against the trade agreement.
Now, the opposition parties are prepared to use Trump’s announcement to attack Abe in the Diet.
Hiroshi Ogushi, policy chief of the main opposition Democratic Party, called the developments a “diplomatic blunder by the Abe administration.”
But even after Trump’s video was uploaded, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo should continue pursuing the TPP.
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