Australia become the sixth country to ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) this week, following ratification from Canada, Singapore, New Zealand, Japan and Mexico. With Australia’s ratification, the agreement will enter into force on December 30, 2018. The revised agreement was formed among 11 Pacific nations when Trump withdrew the United States from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership; original TPP negotiating members Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, and Vietnam have yet to officially ratify the new CPTPP agreement.
The deal is being touted as the most important trade agreement reached in more than two decades, with the potential to remove tariffs on an estimated 95% of goods traded between member countries, which have a combined GDP of some $10 trillion. The deal also modernizes previous agreements to reflect the growth of digital trade, services and copyright issues.
President Trump pulled the United States out of the original negotiations last year. But a majority of Americans seem to wish he hadn’t done that. The 2018 Chicago Council Survey, conducted nearly a year after the US withdrew from the agreement, found that a majority of Americans (61%) believe the United States should participate in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a trade agreement formed among 11 Pacific nations when Trump withdrew the United States from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership.
A majority of Democrats (76%) and Independents (60%) favor US participation, while Republicans are quite divided (49% oppose, 45% favor). Within the Republican party support, a majority of Republicans with a “very favorable” view of Donald Trump – Trump Republicans – oppose it (37% support, 57% oppose), while a slight majority of all other Republicans – non-Trump Republicans – favor the CPTPP (54% favor, 39% oppose).
In a separate question, a majority of GOP supporters prefer negotiating with one country at a time, which has been President Trump’s stated preference. By contrast, a majority of Democrats prefer negotiating with a group of countries – like the CPTPP negotiations – while Independents are divided between the two options.
For more on American public opinion and US foreign policy, check out the full 2018 Chicago Council Survey report, America Engaged.