New TPP deal signed by NZ in Chile

Altogether, the 11 signatories of the CPTPP represent 13.5 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), totaling some 10 billion dollars and 480 million inhabitants.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have represented 40 percent of the global economy and almost one-quarter of its trade, was left for dead after Trump pulled out to pursue his "America First" agenda before the TPP could take effect. The remaining members of the CPTPP, by contrast, represent a combined population of almost 500 million people and more than 13 percent of global trade.

International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne is leaving for South America on Thursday to put Canada's signature on a revised 11-country free trade deal that will create one of the largest trading blocks in the world, as well as for talks to join the Mercosur customs union.

Still another fear was recently voiced in New Zealand: Perhaps the USA will return to the agreement.

US President Donald Trump issued an executive order a few days after his inauguration in January 2017 to withdraw the US from the TPP, declaring it was not in the best interests of American workers.

"This is a fair deal for New Zealand", Mr Parker said after he had signed the CPTPP.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo will join his counterparts from 10 Pacific countries for the signing ceremony in Chile on Thursday.

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.

Yves-Thomas Dorval President of the CPQ
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The revised agreement eliminates some requirements of the original TPP demanded by USA negotiators, including rules to ramp up intellectual property protection of pharmaceuticals.

He also explained the CPTPP will enter into force once ratified by at least six of the 11 countries.

In January, Trump told the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that it was possible Washington might return to the pact if it got a better deal.

Australian exporters would benefit from new trade agreements with Canada and Mexico and greater market access to Japan, Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei.

The Council of Canadians is anxious, however, that with Mercosur, the Liberal government is again rushing into another corporate agreement, without a debate on the needs and wishes of the public, Dey said.

That said, Trump announced last week that his administration plans to impose significant tariffs on steel and aluminum products - a protectionist policy that runs counter to the free trade impulse embodied by CPTPP and has inspired fears of a trade war. Trump has promised an announcement of the tariffs later Thursday.

After ratification, talks will begin on bringing other countries into the CPTPP.

  • Joey Payne