Preliminary agreement reached on TPP: VN trade Minister

by Garry Watts November 11, 2017, 0:21
Preliminary agreement reached on TPP: VN trade Minister

Japan and 10 other countries were moving closer to a deal on pushing ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact without the USA, in a sign of how Pacific Rim economies are moving on with globalization despite resistance from Donald Trump.

Australian trade minister Steven Ciobo said the meeting was "very good" but did not confirm that agreement had been reached.

Meetings over the TPP, ditched by US President Donald Trump in one of his first acts in office, have been held on the sidelines of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings in the Vietnamese resort of Danang.

It did not say when that might happen.

Champagne, who blamed "a misunderstanding about the schedule" for Trudeau's absence, specifically mentioned the auto sector and cultural protection as areas needing more work. According to Canadian media, a spokesperson for Trudeau said that the 11 nations had "made progress" but "outstanding issues" remain.

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But while Japan has been lobbying hard for a quick agreement to move ahead, Canada, New Zealand and Malaysia are among countries that have appeared less enthusiastic to hurry.

It is understood Canada, the second largest economy in the TPP since the United States withdrew, had been in bilateral talks with Japan on role difference before Trudeau's no-show at the meeting.

A Canadian official said: "We've agreed to a framework towards the deal, with work programmes to deal with issues".

Parker said other countries in the room, including Australia, were surprised by Canada's non-appearance at the talks.

Canada's position has been further complicated by the fact that it is simultaneously renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with the Trump administration.


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