The Trans-Pacific Partnership may have life in it yet. On his first day in office, nearly two years ago, U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the TPP, effectively leaving the landmark trade pact for dead. As it turns out, the agreement was only mostly dead. On Dec. 30, the clumsily rechristened Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership came into force. The pact removes some 98 percent of tariffs across an 11-member bloc that accounts for more than one-tenth of global trade and includes critical supply chain and investment hubs on three continents.
Its revival is a remarkable diplomatic feat – undercutting narratives of the impending doom of global free trade. And it illustrates the sense of urgency Pacific Rim countries are feeling to manage the disruptions accompanying China’s rise, with or without the United States. Thus, the pact is about more than expanding trade among member states; it’s also about countering growing threats to the existin