Pacific Rim trade bloc meets in Tokyo, prepping for growth

TOKYO — Trade ministers of a Pacific Rim trade bloc are meeting in Tokyo, gearing up to roll out and expand the market-opening initiative.The Pacific Rim free trade agreement, rejected by President Donald Trump after he took office in 2017, took effect at the end of last year after Australia became the sixth nation to ratify it. So far, seven of the 11 member countries have done so, and others are expected to follow through soon.The trade officials are expected to discuss expanding the bloc at the meeting Saturday in Japan’s capital.Known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, it aims to streamline trade and slash tariffs to facilitate more business among member nations with a combined population of nearly 500 million people and GDP of $13.5 trillion.The Associated Press

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