S. Korea should give boost to Pacific trade deal: expert

SEOUL-- South Korea should give a boost to the Japan-led Pacific trade deal as Seoul needs to support fair and free trade, a local expert said Monday.

Jee Man-soo, a research fellow of the Korea Institute of Finance, said South Korea and Japan should forge a partnership to try to re-establish the standing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Jee made the comment in an international conference on South Korea's economy in Seoul.

The TPP suffered a blow after the United States left the 12-nation free trade deal after President Donald Trump came to office.

Trade ministers of Japan, Canada and nine other members of the TPP held a meeting in Hanoi on Sunday in the margins of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting.

In a statement, the ministers agreed to launch a process to assess options to "bring the comprehensive, high quality agreement into force expeditiously," including how to facilitate membership for the original signatories.

The ministers tasked their senior trade officials with advancing the preparation of this assessment, adding that this work should be completed before they meet on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in November in Da Nang, Vietnam.

South Korea has been mulling over whether to join the TPP.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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