Trade ministers reach deal on Pacific trade without US


Trade ministers reach deal on Pacific trade without US

Ministers of the 11 original signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have agreed on "core elements" of a new trade pact to be implemented without the United States.

TPP trade ministers had agreed to a number of key changes to nudge negotiations closer to a deal and he said Canada would be better off because of them.

The TPP leaders' meeting, initially scheduled for Friday afternoon to endorse and announce the TPP ministerial agreement, was canceled despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push during his meeting with his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau.

Canada and the 10 other Trans-Pacific Partnership countries reached an agreement on Friday on "core elements" of the free trade pact, pledging to adhere to strict labour and environment standards, hours after the talks almost collapsed earlier in the day.

Canadian Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne later blamed "a misunderstanding about the schedule" for Trudeau's absence, but said more work was needed to take TPP forward - specifically mentioning the auto sector and cultural protection.

The 11 ministers "have agreed on every word and expression used in the ministerial statement" to be released Saturday, Motegi said.

After U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the world's biggest economy from the TPP, Japan had been eager to clinch an accord at the APEC summit, with the remaining 11 signatories sharing the goal of an early implementation of the pact.

"This is subtly sending a message to the United States that Canada is not going to be agreeable to reaching any trade deal and Canada will be making its own tough negotiating stance".

"The TPP is only marginally about trade", says Larry Brown.

"It can be said that the outcome of the meeting in Da Nang has demonstrated great efforts made by the 11 TPP countries to spur economic development, generate jobs, improve people's living standards, facilitate trade development, enhance regional economic ties and integrate into the world", said Anh.

Asked whether Canada was back in the tent and TPP was back on she said: "I would characterise it in that way, yes".

The agreement, which still needs to be finalised, would now be called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), he said.

The TPP aims to eliminate tariffs on industrial and farm products across a bloc whose trade totaled $356 billion previous year.

Some 20 provisions of the original agreement were suspended. Trudeau said days before arriving in Danang that he would not be rushed into signing an agreement that did not suit Canada's interests.

"We weren't ready to close it yesterday", Trudeau told reporters at the closing news conference for the APEC summit in Vietnam.

Canada's position has been further complicated by the fact that it is simultaneously renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) with the Trump administration. It cut into the planned TPP leaders' meeting and kept the other leaders waiting for them in the room. "I am quite sanguine that we will get a deal but of course it has got to go through the process of ratification", he said.

China's President Xi Jinping, meanwhile, used the same forum to stress multilateralism and said that globalization is an irreversible trend.

"We have witnessed changes more rapid and complex than we expect", he said in opening remarks. The official disputes the notion it was a snub because the leaders would mingle at APEC events over the next 24 hours anyway.



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