TPP moves a step closer to landmark trade deal sans U.S.

A landmark trade deal took one step closer to reality Wednesday - and it's moving on without its once star member, the United States.

Officials released the final version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, meant to cut trade barriers among some of Asia-Pacific's fastest growing economies.

The deal was a centerpiece of the Obama administration's so-called pivot to Asia. However, Donald Trump pulled out of the TPP last year, leaving the trade pact one nation short of a dozen.

But the 11 remainers, led by Japan, forged ahead - suspending or changing 20 provisions, including the removal of a rule, inserted at the behest of U.S. negotiators that would have ramped up intellectual property protection for pharmaceuticals.

Governments and activists had feared that move would raise the cost of medicine.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos last month, Trump left the door open to join TPP at a later date - if he got a better deal.

And whilst that would be welcomed by some...

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