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TPP still alive despite Trump victory, says Bishop

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TPP still alive despite Trump victory, says Bishop article image

The US Congress could pass the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) before Donald Trump is inaugurated as President, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.

Mr Trump has expressed strong opposition to the TPP indicating the US would withdraw from the 12-nation trade deal.

“It is my understanding that the Obama administration plans to pass the TPP into law during the transition period,” Ms Bishop said in the aftermath of the US elections.

The transition period runs from November 9 until January 20 next year when the President-elect and Vice President elect are sworn in.

“So we are hopeful the President Obama administration can pass the TPP,” Ms Bishop said.

“Both Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton have not supported the TPP in its current format,” she added.

The Turnbull Government says the TPP, which covers nearly 40 percent of the global economy, will deliver valuable new markets for Australian beef, wheat and dairy.

Should the US pull out the agreement the 11 other TPP nations could conceivable forge ahead with the deal.

But that scenario is unlikely given the centrepiece of the agreement was providing better access to the vast US economy.

No changes to existing trade agreement

Ms Bishop did not expect any changes to the existing US-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

“It has been in place for more than 10 years and Australia runs a trade deficit with the United States,” she said.

“The US has a significant trade surplus with Australia so of course I cannot envisage a circumstance where the agreement would be disturbed.”

The US is Australia’s second largest trading partner behind China and Australia would work “constructively” with the Trump administration, Ms Bishop said.

Mr Trump has vowed to renegotiate all current international trade agreements.

Agreements like NAFTA – the North America trade pact covering the US, Canada and Mexico – are firmly in his sights.

He blamed NAFTA for the decline of US manufacturing and heavy job losses in the sector. 

Ms Bishop told the ABC she did not believe the US-Australia agreement would be at the top of Mr Trump’s list for renegotiation.

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