Trade ministers agree Asia-Pacific trade pact without US

DANANG – Ministers from 11 Asia-Pacific countries agreed on Saturday to press ahead with a major trade deal without the United States, as the world’s largest economy seeks to go it alone under President Donald Trump’s “America First” policy.

Trump pulled his country from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) at the start of the year, dismaying allies and casting into doubt an agreement heralded for tying lower tariffs to strong environmental and labour protections.

He has been something of a lone protectionist voice at the APEC summit in the Vietnamese city of Danang where world leaders, including China’s Xi Jinping, have been keen to promote the virtues of free trade and multilateral deals.