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.
"The US has suffered massive trade deficits with Japan for many, many years. So we will have to negotiate and we will do this in a friendly way," US president says.
President Duterte takes a swipe at US over its retreat from TPP and pledges his backing for China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
US President Donald Trump on Monday pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. China is looking to fill the gap.
Japan is one of Washington's closest allies, but Trump alarmed Tokyo during his presidential campaign by talking about pulling thousands of US troops from East Asia.
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