Though Obama championed the TPP as a way to counter China's rise, his administration has now stopped trying to win congressional approval for the deal that was signed by 12 economies in the Americas and Asia-Pacific, but excluded China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in Lima, Peru, Nov. 19, 2016.
During his presidential campaign, Trump, a NY business mogul, has slammed the TPP as a job-killing "disaster", tapping into populist anger at trade, globalisation and manufacturing job losses.
Although no one said openly that China is not welcome, officials of the Obama administration took it at least in part as a political instrument, and repeatedly said (including Obama himself) that it would allow the U.S., not China, to write the rules for free trade. Without US approval the agreement as now negotiated can not come to fruition.
"We will fully involve ourselves in economic globalization by supporting the multilateral trading regime, advancing the FTAAP and working for the early conclusion of the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership", he said. Froman said that RCEP would not have labor and environmental protections that are written into TPP.
But civil society groups from Australia to Peru, New Zealand to Malaysia, and Chile to Japan fought against the trade pact's corporate agenda, building up unprecedented coalitions of opposition to the deal in each country.
"President-elect Trump stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward", a statement from Trump's office said.
"Even if the United States doesn't want to engage in free trade, President Trump needs to know other countries do", said Key. "I don't think we'll hear a lot on TPP for a while". "Without the US, it does change the economics of the whole thing quite a bit".
He may impose punitive tariffs on powerful trade partners such as China and revise key free trade deals with countries such as Mexico that rely on the United States market, the Institute of International Finance said. But the RCEP has recently been under the spotlight as the fate of the TPP hangs in the balance.
During the election campaign by the Donald Trump, it has fuelled many concerns among the US.
Common sense teaches that brisk free trade activities can help incubate economic prosperity and higher living standards with low costs.
He believes, contrary to what many critics of the deal say, TPP would be great for America - cutting prices for consumers and tariffs for USA companies in Asia and back home.
RCEP represents about 30% of global GDP and nearly half the world's population.
"With the advantages of electronic commerce, it's possible for small, remote businesses to be world traders in a way they never could before", he said.
The Peruvian leader cited the USA election, though he did not specifically mention President-elect Donald Trump, who pledged to overhaul United States trade policy and tear up trade agreements such as NAFTA or the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. "It will be impossible for us to curb protectionism", according to the Japanese official.
Singapore's prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, echoed the sentiment, urging more, not less, trade in the face of "a nativist response in developed countries by those who blame globalisation for making them worse off". She went on to add, that other countries could see ramifications and that it could impact global trade in general. With peoples' movements united across borders and across sectors, we were able to stop a power grab by some of the most powerful economic and political interests in human history.
Linking the US with 11 countries around the Pacific, the TPP would have been the biggest regional trade deal in history, spanning almost 40% of global GDP and about a third of world trade.