Trans Pacific Partnership deal back on track

Nov 13, 2017, 00:25
Trans Pacific Partnership deal back on track

But the TPP-11 was thrown into limbo on Friday after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau snubbed an APEC leader's meeting on the deal and raised a raft of unforeseen issues.

Australian officials remain tight-lipped on the progress, but New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the so-called TPP-11 were no longer talking about countries walking away from the deal. The ministers also said they would work to improve the functioning of the World Trade Organisation - which Trump criticised in Friday's speech.

"Particularly when it comes to culture, when it comes to the auto sector, you'll bet that we'll take the time to consult with stakeholders to get the deal done", he told reporters.

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 compromise was delayed by last-minute disagreements that prevented the TPP leaders from meeting to endorse a plan on Friday.

In a speech hours before at the summit, President Trump emphasized his hard line on multilateral trade deals, declaring that the US would not be "taken advantage of anymore." the which has informed his threats to pull out of NAFTA.

Earlier, Mr Trump effectively slammed the door shut on any hope of America rejoining the TPP negotiations during his address to the APEC summit.

Canada, which has the second biggest economy among remaining TPP countries after Japan, had said it wanted to ensure an agreement that would protect jobs and was in no hurry.

They also changed the trade accord's name to the unwieldy Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

It has been reported that the 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries have reached an agreement on "core elements" of the trade pact, including that all countries will adhere to strict labour and environmental standards.

Ministerial talks on a communique for the APEC leaders were extended into a second day on Thursday in the face of US demands for changes to the language used concerning issues such as free trade and protectionism, officials at the talks said.

A press conference was scheduled later on Saturday.

Xi drew loud applause when he urged support for the "multilateral trading regime" and progress toward a free-trade zone in the Asia-Pacific. Under the original TPP, in order for a vehicle to enter Canada tariff-free, 45 per cent of it must have originated in a TPP member nation (auto parts themselves must have a regional content value of 35 to 45 per cent).

APEC operates by consensus and customarily issues nonbinding statements. TPP commitments would eventually be ratified and enforced by its members.

But even talks this week on a declaration to cap the APEC summit had to be extended for an extra half day as ministers haggled over wording.

Apec trade and foreign ministers released a joint statement on Saturday, three days later than planned because of wrangling over customary language the United States wanted to change. Danang, Vietnam's third largest city, is in the midst of a construction boom as dozens of resorts and smaller hotels pop up along its scenic coastline.

The TPP, comprising Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, now covers 13 percent of the global economy, compared with 40 percent prior to the withdrawal of the United States.

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