TPP-11 members to sign trans-Pacific trade pact in March: Kyodo


The 11 remaining countries from the initial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement finally agreed to go ahead with the deal without the U.S., at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The official said the side agreement brings into force key commitments made by Japan to Canada and the the original deal, but which were lost when the USA pulled out.

The 11 countries have a combined GDP of $12.4 trillion and includes Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Trudeau said that the country had shown that it "can and will work hard to set the terms of trade so that the middle class can compete and win on the world stage".

Behind Canada's tough stance is the looming renegotiation of the North America Free Trade Agreement.

Canada's minister of worldwide trade, François-Philippe Champagne, said the Trans-Pacific Partnership will make Canada part of the largest trading agreement in the world, covering 500 million people, representing about 14 per cent of the global economy.

The Government will be looking to pass any changes to foreign investment rules before ratifying the deal, as its ability to do so will be limited after CPTPP is ratified.

The Trump administration proposed raising the bar to a minimum North American content of 85 percent and requiring 50 percent United States origin.

"We have made significant efforts to uphold the spirit and substance of the original Agreement, while maintaining its high ambition and overall balance", he said.

Trade officials from the 11 countries had been meeting in Tokyo to try to resolve rifts including Canada's insistence on protection of its cultural industries such as movies, TV and music.

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South Africa did that best and India - despite apparently being gifted a "subcontinent" wicket by the errant groundsman - didn't. In their four encounters here in Johannesburg‚ India have won one with the other three matches ending in draws.

Canada threw a spanner in the works at the APEC summit in Vietnam previous year derailing efforts to finalise a revamped deal. The agreement reached in Tokyo today is the right deal.

"We said from the beginning that we didn't want just any deal; we wanted a good deal for Canada and for Canadians", Champagne continued".

"The way this new deal was suddenly announced, without any consultation or transparency, is undemocratic and flies in the face of the government's claims that it is standing up for workers in trade negotiations", said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.

Singapore's Straits Times newspaper reports that 22 provisions of the original TPP agreement have been suspended, up from 20 frozen in November previous year.

The original deal - the world's largest free-trade to date - was signed in Auckland in early 2016 with mass protests outside the event.

Trudeau drew global media criticism there by deciding not to sign an agreement-in-principle on what was then known as TPP11, following the US withdrawal.

"We're disappointed Canada is giving away even more dairy market access".

"If our goal is to grow Canadian-based multinationals which are able to generate revenue around the world and bring it back to Canada, this is a a really positive development", he said.

Japan's top trade negotiator, Toshimitsu Motegi, said he hoped to expand the membership of the TPP and encourage a USA return to the pact.