An Asia-Pacific trade deal stands almost no chance of working now that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has pulled the plug on it, proponents of the pact say, opening the way for China to assume the leadership mantle on trade. Sonia Legg reports.
They spent the weekend vowing to plough on regardless. But just hours later Trump delivered a potential knock out blow (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED STATES PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "I'm going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country. Instead we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores." The Trans-Pacific Partnership has been five years in the making. Japan thinks it stands no chance without America But some aren't prepared to give up quite yet. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MINISTER FOR TRADE, TOURISM AND INVESTMENT, STEVEN CIOBO, SAYING: "I think we've just got to make sure that we continue on with our process. The 11 countries are all basically undertaking that course of action and we'll wait to see what the United States does in due course." The deal was meant to cover 40 percent of the world economy and cut trade barriers in some of Asia's fastest growing economies. China wasn't involved but doors there may now be opened. (SOUNDBITE) (English): DARREN SINDEN, INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, SAYING: "I don't think the Chinese are ones for rash action so I imagine they'll be waiting to see what happens in those first 100 days of the Trump presidency before making any decision on that." Trump has toned down some of his pre-election rhetoric. Whether he'll do the same with his pre-inauguration comments is up for debate. (SOUNDBITE) (English): DARREN SINDEN, INDEPENDENT MARKET ANALYST, SAYING: "Let's hope he's going to try a bit more constructive when he's actually in office and this is just a warning shot over the bows." China has pushed its own version of an Asia-Pacific trade pact. But the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership - which already excludes the U.S. - doesn't cover labour or environment standards - and that will disappoint many.