World News

TPP deal moves forward without US

TPP deal moves forward without US

Trade ministers chairing meetings on the free-trade Trans-Pacific Partnership in Danang, Vietnam, will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. local time (0400 GMT).

The draft said ministers had agreed the core elements of what they described as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Trudeau has said he's not going to rush into the deal unless it addresses the best interests of Canadians, even as some partners press Canada to move quickly on a revised TPP.

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 an11-nation bloc whose trade totalled US$356 billion previous year.

Some 20 provisions of the original agreement were suspended.

Improved labour standards are understood to have proved a sticking point in negotiations, with Vietnam agreeing to the provisions in principle but requesting more time.

Ciobo said the U.S. withdrawal had "changed the metrics" for a number of countries.

The newspaper The Australian published a story Friday about Canada's no-show at the meeting, accompanied by a tweet saying Trudeau "infuriates world leaders, embarrasses host nation".

Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stood side by side and smiled for the cameras before their meeting.

But that optimism contrasts with Canada, whose trade minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne, said in an interview on Wednesday that speed shouldn't take priority over getting a good agreement. Like Mexico, its position is further complicated by renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the Trump administration.

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Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Trudeau said though Canada was pleased with the progress made on TPP, there was "still more important work to be done".

The 11 countries remaining in the Trans-Pacific Partnership are expected to endorse a basic agreement at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam on Friday.

Japan had said an agreement in principle had been reached, but Canada disputed that.

There was no immediate word on Canada's stance.

At a speech in Danang, Mr Trump set out a strong message on trade in which he made clear he was only interested in bilateral deals in Asia which would never put the United States at a disadvantage.

Chinese President Xi Jinping used the same forum to stress multilateralism and said globalisation was an irreversible trend.

Canada's representatives were at the meeting and appear to have re-entered talks. The two trade deals are not mutually exclusive, and some countries would be members of both.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, and Vietnam's President Tran Dai Quang shake hands during their meeting at the APEC Business Advisory Council dialogue in Danang, Vietnam Friday, Nov. 10, 2017.

"We have witnessed changes more rapid and complex than we expect", he said in opening remarks.

APEC, whose leaders hold their full summit on Saturday, has itself been buffeted by the changes under Mr Trump. Tokyo is eager to show that multilateral trade pacts can be successful without America's support.


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