In Brief

Trans-Pacific Partnership to go ahead without US

11 remaining Pacific-rim countries agree core elements to revive the controversial trade deal

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will go ahead despite the US withdrawal earlier this year and concerns from other members.

Meeting on the sidelines of the Apec summit in Vietnam, the remaining 11 Pacific rim nations released a joint statement over the weekend saying they were committed to free and open trade.

The TPP will include Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and Canada. Before the US withdrew, it was set to cover 40% of the global economy.

There was concern that Canada could follow the US out the door after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “expressed last minute reservations” around environmental and labour protections and its impact on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is currently being re-negotiated, says the Financial Times.

Canada “had been accused of stalling”, says the BBC, after Trudeau said earlier in the week that he would not be rushed into a renewed TPP deal.

When President Trump abandoned the TPP in January “it was widely expected that the deal would collapse”, says the BBC’s south east Asia correspondent Jonathan Head.

The remaining countries are now having to renegotiate the terms of the deal, “as access to the huge US market was the prize that persuaded less developed countries, including Vietnam and Peru, to sign up to tough conditions on issues such as labour rights and protection of intellectual property”, says Head.

The new deal “looks a little different from when the US was part of the negotiations through the end of Barack Obama’s presidency”, says Vox, but the 11 TPP members now say they have enough agreement on what they call the core elements of the trade pact to move ahead, although it is still not clear when it will be finalised.

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