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Pacific trade deal not the only egg basket

AAP logoAAP 12/11/2016

Countries involved in a landmark trade deal could go ahead with it if the United States pulls out although the agreement is unlikely to survive under such conditions, the federal government believes.

But Trade Minister Steve Ciobo says Australia doesn't have all its eggs in the Trans-Pacific Partnership basket and is still pursuing a number of bilateral trade deals as well as a comprehensive regional economic partnership.

"If it comes to pass that the TPP doesn't secure United States domestic ratification, it is certainly not the end of trade globally as we know it," he told ABC TV on Sunday.

Although incoming US president Donald Trump had strong rhetoric against trade deal during his election campaign, Mr Ciobo didn't believe he was anti-trade.

"He said he wants trade deals that are better for American workers, better for American wages and help America's budget position," he said.

"Those are goals that aren't dissimilar to mine for Australia."

Mr Ciobo believes Barack Obama will still try and get the "lame duck" session of Congress to agree to the TPP but says its passage is "less likely than likely" in the wake of Mr Trump's election.

Nonetheless, Australia and the other 10 countries party to the deal will keep trying to convince America of its merits.

"But really with the United States not being part of it, first of all ... officially the TPP would not get up," the minister said.

"Secondly, if we looked at, well is there still enough merit to look at a trade deal among the 11 of us, it changes the metrics substantially."

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