Eleven nations - but not US - to sign Trans-Pacific trade deal

Marsha Scott
March 9, 2018

He said in an interview that the current deal includes commitments to meeting labour and environmental standards - part of the so-called progressive trade agenda that Canada is also pursuing in exploratory talks with China.

This is "a strong sign against the protectionist pressures, and in favor of a world open to free trade, without unilateral sanctions and the threat of trade wars", Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz said.

The original TPP would have represented roughly 40% of the world's economic output.

National University of Singapore economist Davin Chor said the deal showed that the rest of the world was prepared to advance free trade, with or without the US.

"Although damaging provisions for the Internet have been suspended in this version of the TPP, it does not in any way change that this process was negotiated in secret, and designed with the interests of the US - a country that is no longer even part of the agreement - at heart".

In New Zealand, the agreement will go through a select committee process, where the public will get to have their say.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade's estimates, the deal is expected to give a $1.2 billion to $4b boost to New Zealand's real gross domestic product.

"We have nine pages of new text wrapped around the old text, 22 items suspended - not removed".

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Last month, Trump told the World Economic Forum in Davos that the U.S. might return if it got a better deal. That sentiment was echoed just last month by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who reportedly told an investment summit he has begun to "have very high-level conversations" about the agreement, which "is something the president will consider".

An economic analysis released by the Canadian government in February said the pact would provide exporters with tariff savings of $428 million per year.

Eleven countries of the Pacific region will endorse the new Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) this Thursday in Santiago without the participation of the United States, an ambitious project with which they intend to send a signal against protectionism.

"The value of the TPP 11 is reinforced by the U.S. tariff decision".

But the remaining countries regrouped and that culminated in the signing Thursday. The move, plus his administration's recent push to renegotiate NAFTA, portends ill for any hopes that Trump will reconsider his skepticism of free trade agreements.

Trump has also threatened to dump the North American Free Trade Agreement unless the other two members of the pact, Canada and Mexico, agree to provisions that Trump says would boost US manufacturing and employment.

Former president Barack Obama's administration pushed for the TPP as a counterweight to growing Chinese commercial power.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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