International News-Daily Digest: 2 Key Updates
1. Trump accepts Kim’s talks offer
President Donald Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by May, opening a diplomatic path to a potential solution to the nuclear stalemate on the Korean peninsula.
This will be the first time a sitting American President will be meeting a North Korean leader.Mr. Kim “conveyed that he wants to meet with President as quickly as possible,” a senior administration official said, soon after South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-Yong briefed Mr. Trump and senior U.S. officials on his talks with the North Korean leader in Pyongyang on Monday.
The invitation for talks was conveyed orally by Mr. Kim to South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-Yong, who then conveyed it orally to the President Trump.
2. 11 countries sign TPP trade pact without the United States
Eleven Asia-Pacific nations signed a slimmed-down trade pact to lower tariffs just as US President Donald Trump seeks to raise them after withdrawing from the deal last year.
The Trans–Pacific Partnership, which would have represented 40% of the global economy and nearly one-quarter of its trade, was left for dead after Trump pulled out to pursue his “America First” agenda before the TPP could take effect.
But the revamped deal, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans–Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), is still a significant achievement that sends a message of openness, its supporters said ahead of the signing ceremony in Santiago, Chile. The pact will include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, representing together 13.5 per cent of global gross domestic product.
The 11 states form a market of 500 million people, greater than that of the European Union’s single market.
Former president Barack Obama’s administration pushed for the TPP as a counterweight to growing Chinese commercial power. It not only cut tariffs but required members to comply with a high level of regulatory standards in areas like labor law and environmental protection.
The pact will come into force 60 days after it is fully ratified by six of the 11 members.