Two-day event in Los Angeles is the first face-to-face meeting between members of the new Indo-Pacific Economic Prosperity Framework, an initiative launched in May by Washington to contain Beijing's influence in the region.
Vietnam and the European Union signed a free trade deal reducing tariffs on goods of 99 percent traded between the southeastern state and the Union. The deal will boost Vietnams economy by around 5 percent until 2024-2028.
The world's largest trade deal, also called RCEP, is pushed back to next year as trade ministers of Asia-Pacific countries fail to agree key terms at a summit, ahead of ASEAN meeting, in Singapore.
Diplomats in ASEAN summit express concern over the impact of US-China trade war as calls grow for accelerating talks for a Beijing-backed free-trade deal that excludes the US.
Donald Trump's absence marks the first time a US president has not attended the key regional summit. His VP is expected to push leaders for a stronger response to what the Trump administration is calling the rise of dictatorship in Venezuela.
US President Donald Trump's apparent about-face over the TPP came late on Thursday, on Twitter. Trump pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017, claiming it was unfair. Now he's having second thoughts.
Trump pulled the US from the pact but the remaining 11 members pressed ahead, saying they were showing resolve against protectionism through global trade.
The trade deal, which the European Union called its biggest ever, must still be signed and ratified by both sides who first agreed to its broad outlines in July.
Keeping with ASEAN's principle of non-interference in each others' internal affairs, the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar appeared to have been put aside at the summit.
Trade ministers of 11 Pacific Rim countries say they agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership that the US abandoned in January under Trump.
The pact was thrown into disarray when US President Trump abruptly pulled out of the deal earlier this year, dismaying allies including Japan, Australia, Canada and Vietnam.
President Donald Trump is likely to push for his "America First" doctrine while his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping is expected to send positive signals supporting free trade during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Vietnam.
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