Washington Post — By Ashley Parker November 10 at 10:36 PM
(Photo: From left, China’s President Xi Jinping, Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull attend the APEC-ASEAN dialogue, on the sidelines of the APEC summit, in Danang, Vietnam Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. (Jorge Silva / AP))
DANANG, Vietnam — President Trump delivered a fiery speech on trade here Friday, declaring that he would not allow the United States to be “taken advantage of anymore” and planned to place “America first.”
And then, less than 24 hours later, 11 Pacific Rim countries collectively shrugged and moved on without the U.S.
On Saturday, the countries announced they had reached a deal to move ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade pact that Trump threw into question when he withdrew from it earlier this year.
The agreement represents something of a rebuke of Trump, coming near the end of his five-country, 12-day swing through Asia, and reflects the willingness of other nations to proceed without the buy-in of the United States.
A statement early Saturday trumpeted a breakthrough on the “core elements” of the trade agreement. “Ministers are pleased to announce that they have agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership,” it read.
The deal was originally expected to be announced Friday — the same day Trump addressed business leaders at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit here, in a speech heavy on tough talk and protectionist rhetoric — but was delayed after Canada raised concerns.
The decision to move ahead with the TPP agreement, minus the United States, reflects how Trump’s decision to withdraw from the deal created a vacuum other nations are now moving to fill, with or without the president.
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