Published: Fri, November 10, 2017
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

TPP talks reach critical point at Asia-Pacific summit

TPP talks reach critical point at Asia-Pacific summit

Ministers of the 11 signatories remaining in the TPP reached an agreement in principle Thursday to go ahead with the implementation of the free trade deal without the US.

But Canada's Trade Minister Fancois-Philippe Champagne denied that and said reports of an "agreement in principle" are "absolutely not true".

Parker said the 11 countries still participating in the initiative after the US withdrew earlier this year are showing good will and a desire to make progress.

"We are hopeful of securing a deal inside the next 24-48 hours", Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo said Thursday in an interview in Vietnam. The country also sped up free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (PPP) with 11 other states.

The deal is a major achievement for the "TPP 11", which spent months trying to salvage the pact after the US pulled out when President Donald Trump took office.

The full list of TPP countries includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

He will join the APEC Summit on Friday, when U.S.'s Donald Trump, Japan's Shinzo Abe and China's Xi Jinping are expected to speak at the CEO Summit.

The establishment of comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and Canada is not only an important milestone in the bilateral relationship but also gives a momentum to cooperative ties, especially when the two nations are sharing more interests bilaterally, regionally and internationally.

The TPP was seen as a hallmark of USA engagement with Asia under the prior administration and a buffer against China's rising clout.

Though the economic impact of the agreement will be much smaller without the U.S. - TPP 11 makes up only 13.5% of the world's gross domestic product and 15.2% of global trade volumes, as opposed to 38.2% and 26.5%, respectively, with the U.S. - the deal represents a statement of intent from the Asia-Pacific nations that multilateral trade is the future for them.

Vietnam, projected to see economic growth this year of 6.3 per cent, features a sturdy consumer base, an emerging business class and an expanding footprint in supply chains.

Trump, the official added, only pulled out of the Pacific Rim deal about 10 months ago, while the first discussion by the remaining countries' officials on how to reshape a post-U.S. TPP only happened five months ago.

In the agreement he thought was reached, Parker said New Zealand got "some of what we wanted, but not all of what we wanted" in relation to the dispute clauses.

David Mann, chief Asia economist at Standard Chartered, has said that reaching an agreement would hinge on how the countries agreed to treat trade in services.

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