Final version of Trans-Pacific trade deal released, pact step closer without US

The final version of a landmark deal aimed at cutting trade barriers in some of Asia-Pacific’s fastest-growing economies was released on Wednesday. The move signals the pact is a step closer to reality even without its star member the United States, Reuters said. More than 20 provisions have been suspended or changed in the final text ahead of the deal's official signing in March. The additions include rules around intellectual property originally included at the behest of Washington. The original 12-member deal was thrown into limbo early last year when President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement to prioritize protecting US jobs.