Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Xinhua/Lan Hongguang via Getty Images

Ministers representing 16 Asian-Pacific countries — including China, India, Australia and Japan — that make up a third of the global economy and half of the world's population met in Tokyo Sunday to discuss forming the world's largest trading bloc, reports Bloomberg.

Why it matters: These discussions come as President Trump is alienating allies and adversaries alike with tariffs and threats of an all-out global trade war. Trump's moves have also fostered an unlikely friendship between Asian giants China and Japan as the two hedge against uncertain U.S. foreign policy.

"The path toward a year-end agreement is now clearer ... As protectionism concerns increase globally, it’s important that the Asian region flies the flag of free trade."
— Hiroshige Seko, Japan’s trade minister

The details: Bloomberg reports that the countries' leaders were hopeful that a deal could be signed by the end of the year. The full list of nations — called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership — includes Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 21,239,182 — Total deaths: 766,414— Total recoveries: 13,265,843Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m ET: 5,314,021 — Total deaths: 168,458 — Total recoveries: 1,796,326 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: The coronavirus-connected heart ailment that could lead to sudden death in athletes.
  4. States: California passes 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  7. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Kamala Harris and the political rise of America's Indian community

Vice presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

When Democrats next week formally nominate the daughter of an Indian immigrant to be vice president, it'll be perhaps the biggest leap yet in the Indian American community's rapid ascent into a powerful political force.

Why it matters: Indian Americans are one of the fastest-growing, wealthiest and most educated demographic groups in the U.S. Politicians work harder every year to woo them. And in Kamala Harris, they'll be represented in a major-party presidential campaign for the first time.

3 hours ago - Health

The cardiac threat coronavirus poses to athletes

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Cardiologists are increasingly concerned that coronavirus infections could cause heart complications that lead to sudden cardiac death in athletes.

Why it matters: Even if just a tiny percentage of COVID-19 cases lead to major cardiac conditions, the sheer scope of the pandemic raises the risk for those who regularly conduct the toughest physical activity — including amateurs who might be less aware of the danger.