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Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) What is it and why does it matter?

US President-elect Donald Trump has promised to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal as soon as he takes office.

The TPP, signed by 12 countries in February, covers 40% of the world's economy. But all 12 nations need to ratify it, and Mr Trumps comments suggest that simply won't happen.

Outgoing US President Barack Obama treated trade deals as a priority, but US opponents have characterised the TPP as a secretive deal that favoured big business and other countries at the expense of jobs and national sovereignty.

TPP in a nutshell

The member states are the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

The pact aims to deepen economic ties between these nations, slashing tariffs and fostering trade to boost growth.

Members had also hoped to foster a closer relationship on economic policies and regulation.

The agreement was designed to potentially create a new single market, something like that of the EU.

How big a deal is the TPP?

Pretty big. The 12 countries have a collective population of about 800 million - almost double that of the European Union's single market. The 12-nation would-be bloc is already responsible for 40% of world trade.

The deal was seen as a remarkable achievement given the very different approaches and standards within the member countries, including environmental protection, workers' rights and regulatory coherence - not to mention the special protections that some countries have for certain industries.

And that's why the prospect of the US pulling out is being seen as such a blow for those who signed up.

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