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Trans-Pacific Partnership resurrected, 11 member countries agree on text of pact

13 November 2017, 12:24 | Darnell Patrick

Trans-Pacific Partnership resurrected, 11 member countries agree on text of pact

Trudeau Vietnam 20171109

"Asked by reporters about the results of a meeting of TPP ministers, Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said "(they) agree in principle", adding that the ministers had finalised "a list of suspensions" - clauses that would be suspended to avoid renegotiating the whole agreement.

Instead they found Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, holding crisis meetings with Canada's Justin Trudeau over an undisclosed issue.

Reuters is reporting this morning that the 11 nations working on the new version of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact have agreed to the core elements of a deal but more work needs to be done.

"Comprehensive and progressive are key things that we [the ministers] look forward to and we consider the new name reflecting the common goal of inclusive growth", Tuan Anh said.

Canada, whose economy is the second biggest among the TPP-11 after Japan, said on Wednesday it would not be rushed into a revived TPP deal.

He said the original TPPA which included the USA was signed after considering all costs and benefits associated with the trade deal.

Motegi, taking part in the Abe-Trudeau summit, said "no clear explanation" was offered as to why Canada can not support and announce the agreement at the leaders' level. "That is what I've been saying at least for a week, and I've been saying it around TPP12 for years now and that position continues to hold", he said of the original trade pact that was negotiated under the former Conservative government.

Trade ministers and delegates from the remaining members of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) attend the TPP Ministerial Meeting during the APEC 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam November 9, 2017.

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"It is a more comprehensive and progressive agreement than has ever been agreed in major nation multi-lateral agreements before so it was important to some including Canada that it be referenced in the renaming of that because there's some misunderstanding of that out in the public", Mr Parker said.

Partly to counter China's growing dominance in Asia, Japan had been lobbying hard for the TPP pact, which aims to eliminate tariffs on industrial and farm products across the 11-nation bloc whose trade totalled $356 billion previous year.

The pullout of the United States came as a shock to the other 11 members, given that the Pacific Rim deal was a landmark pillar of Trump's predecessor Barack Obama's policy of a strategic rebalance, or "pivot", to the Asia-Pacific region and had significance not only economically but in security aspects amid the rise of China.

The TPP member countries are trying to find a way forward without the USA, the biggest economy and, before Trump took office, one of its most assertive supporters.

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

At the start of the meeting, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang noted Apec's success in removing barriers to trade - as well as the new uncertainty in the world.

At this stage there's no meeting of all 11 leaders planned for Saturday.

"We are still negotiating - this is a very, very complex negotiation", Freeland said. The release of a set of ministerial agreements early Saturday suggested the leaders would finesse any disagreements, as usual, to demonstrate unity and avoid embarrassing their hosts. 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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