The world is pressing ahead with big multilateral free trade deals despite opposition from President Trump. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal that Trump ditched in January 2017 has been revived by the remaining 11 nations, who will work towards signing it in early March.
TPP revived without U.S
Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Singapore and the other nations wrapped up negotiations on the deal after two days of talks in Tokyo.
“The agreement reached in Tokyo today is the right deal,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “Today is a great day for Canada, but it’s also a great day for progressive trade around the world.”
The revised deal is called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
All remaining issues have been resolved and the talks showed the “countries’ collective commitment towards greater trade liberalization and regional integration,” said Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry in a statement. The agreement would be open to other countries to join in the future, it added.
New deal of TPP-11
The new deal is supposed to cut barriers on trade in goods and services between the 11 markets, which make up about 15% of the global economy. It also includes rules on environmental and labor standards.
“This agreement meets our objectives of creating and sustaining growth, prosperity and well paying middle class jobs today and for generations to come,” said Canada’s minister of international trade, François-Philippe Champagne, in a statement.
Countries like Japan are eager to use the salvaged Pacific trade deal to counter China’s growing sway.
Beijing is increasingly seeking to influence the region, notably through its Belt and Road Initiative that aims to foster greater trade across Asia and Europe through huge investments in things like roads, railways and ports.
CPTPP isn’t the only big deal about to be signed.
The leaders of all 55 nations on the African continent are also slated to give their blessing to a new free trade deal in March.
That deal is set to cover more than 1.2 billion people across Africa, from Morocco all the way to South Africa.
News that negotiations on the CPTPP had been successfully concluded comes on the same day that U.S., Mexican and Canadian officials return to the table to discuss reworking NAFTA, the North American free trade pact.
Trump continues to threaten that if he doesn’t get the deal he wants, he’ll pull the U.S. out of NAFTA altogether.
About 14 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Canada and Mexico, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a business advocacy group.
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