Philippines thinks TPP not 'too hot' without US and won't join

October 17, 2017: The Finance Secretary of the Philippines, Carlos Dominguez, has stated that the Philippines will not join the TPP without the US. The US withdrew from the TPP agreement on January 24, 2017. Manila Bulletin reports that Mr Dominguez recently told a leaders' forum in Washington DC, “Without the US I don’t think it’s going to be too hot… Without the US, it doesn’t make sense.”

Both the American Chamber of Commerce and the European Chamber of Commerce have previously expressed hope that the Philippines will consider joining the TPP agreement.

However Mr Dominguez said the Philippines is working ‘very hard’ on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement between the ASEAN countries and China, Australia, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Is the RCEP just the TPP by another name? Read our explainer here.