US

Asia economies hold trade pact talks after Trump dumps TPP

  • Keiya Iida, right, deputy director-general of Economic Affairs Bureau of Japan's Foreign Ministry, speaks as Iman Pambagyo, director general of International Trade Cooperation of Foreign Affairs, listens during a meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Kobe, western Japan, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Negotiators from 16 Asian countries are meeting this week for talks on a regional trade pact that could supplant the Trans-Pacific Partnership rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump. (Shohei Miyano/Kyodo News via AP)

    Keiya Iida, right, deputy director-general of Economic Affairs Bureau of Japan's Foreign Ministry, speaks as Iman Pambagyo, director general of International Trade Cooperation of Foreign Affairs, listens during a meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Kobe, western Japan, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Negotiators from 16 Asian countries are meeting this week for talks on a regional trade pact that could supplant the Trans-Pacific Partnership rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump. (Shohei Miyano/Kyodo News via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A woman walks near the venue of a meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Kobe, western Japan, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Negotiators from 16 Asian countries are meeting this week for talks on a regional trade pact that could supplant the Trans-Pacific Partnership rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump. (Shohei Miyano/Kyodo News via AP)

    A woman walks near the venue of a meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Kobe, western Japan, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. Negotiators from 16 Asian countries are meeting this week for talks on a regional trade pact that could supplant the Trans-Pacific Partnership rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump. (Shohei Miyano/Kyodo News via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Negotiators from 16 Asian countries attend a meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Kobe, western Japan, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. The negotiators are meeting this week for talks on a regional trade pact that could supplant the Trans-Pacific Partnership rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump. (Shohei Miyano/Kyodo News via AP)

    Negotiators from 16 Asian countries attend a meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in Kobe, western Japan, Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. The negotiators are meeting this week for talks on a regional trade pact that could supplant the Trans-Pacific Partnership rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump. (Shohei Miyano/Kyodo News via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Negotiators from 16 Asian countries are meeting in the Japanese port city of Kobe this week for talks on a regional trade pact that could supplant the Trans-Pacific Partnership rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump.

China is playing a leading role in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, which faces hurdles of its own.

Trump withdrew from the TPP after taking office, saying he prefers bilateral trade deals. The U.S. is not a part of the RCEP initiative, launched in 2013.

Members are struggling to reach consensus over tricky issues such as tariffs, trade in services and restrictions on investments in key industries.

Apart from Japan and China, RCEP members include Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.