Mike Pence hints at possible US return to TPP in talks with Japan DPM Aso: Kyodo

US Vice President Mike Pence and Japan's Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso attending a joint news conference after their talks in Tokyo on April 18, 2017.
US Vice President Mike Pence and Japan's Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso attending a joint news conference after their talks in Tokyo on April 18, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO - US Vice-President Mike Pence referred to the possibility of the United States returning to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal when he met Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso on Wednesday (Feb 7), a Japanese government source said, reported Kyodo News.

Pence made the remarks as Aso asked him about the recent comments by US President Donald Trump that he might consider returning to the TPP if Washington can get better terms.

The Kyodo report did not give further details.

The pact currently involves 11 countries after the US withdrew from it last year.

Pence and Aso then exchanged views on the strategic importance of the TPP, while agreeing to promote the bilateral high-level economic dialogue that they chair, the source said. Pence also met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier in the day.