Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Pacific Nations Get TPP Framework to Salvage a Deal without US

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau removes his sunglasses as he arrives in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam on Thursday. Later Trudeau batted away questions about the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal saying he wasn't at the negotiating table Pacific Nations Get TPP Framework to Salvage a Deal without US
Kristopher Love | 12 November, 2017, 09:50

Japanese Minister of the Economy Toshimitsu Motegi said the 11 remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have secured a framework agreement on how to salvage the deal.

New Zealand's minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, said talks on a Pacific Rim trade pact are more likely to progress if few changes are made to the original accord.

But yet another version is back again with a new name - the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership - the CPTPP. Japan's economic minister, Toshimitsu Motegi, said scheduling difficulties made it hard for the leaders to meet Saturday to formally approve an accord.

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. "We made progress, but we clearly identified the things we still need to work on", he said.

"This is a disappointing development", he said.

The negotiators put aside some of thornier issues to be negotiated later, Champagne said.

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. 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. "We have no update on when they are likely to convene", she said.

APEC trade and foreign ministers separately ended a meeting on Thursday with a "very good outcome", despite differing views on trade and protectionism, Vietnamese Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh said.

"Obviously the value from the TPP comes from having it as broad based as possible - a comprehensive deal".

The 11 ministers also agreed on suspending 20 clauses in the original text if Washington stays out of the pact, including 11 on intellectual property.

"We have reached an agreement on a number of fundamental parts". I am hopeful TPP-11 will be successful.

"The suspended provisions, in fact, will help narrow TPP challenges for the country", Thang said.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said at a press conference in Vietnam that Mr Trudeau would have to be the one to answer as to why he pulled out of a meeting to revive the TPP11.

Excluding the United States, the 11-party TPP's share of world gross domestic product drops to 13 percent, but trade experts say the deal would still create a free trade area with high-standard market liberalization.

Abe told reporters that Canada felt the deal was not yet ready for an official decision.

APEC's members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the US and Vietnam.

The 11 counties remaining in the trade pact rejected by Trump in January have been working to revise the deal to allow them to proceed without USA involvement.