Pacific Shapes Free Trade Area without US

Pacific Shapes Free Trade Area without US

Pacific Shapes Free Trade Area without US

All 11 trade ministers from the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries including Canada had agreed on a "substantial conclusion" to the deal.

The statement from the APEC foreign and trade ministers had originally been due on Wednesday from the talks in the Vietnamese resort of Danang. According to Tuan Anh, the conciliatory maneuver will ensure the balance and quality of the document in the new context.

Members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed a new framework to revive the proposed trade deal, following the United States withdrawal earlier this year.

Meeting on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Da Nang in Vietnam, the remaining eleven nations - Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam - released a joint statement on Saturday saying they were committed to free and open trade.

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

TPP leaders have another chance to get some sort of agreement-most likely a deal for ministers to keep talking and a time frame for doing so-during the broader Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit being held in Vietnam on Saturday.

Any kind of TPP deal looked in doubt earlier in the week after officials said Vietnam's chief negotiator had walked out of one round of talks and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then skipped a leaders' meeting on the pact.

Talks between trade and foreign ministers from the group failed to reach agreement on their usual joint statement in the face of USA demands to remove language about supporting free trade and fighting protectionism.

Japan has pushed particularly hard for the deal, now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, as part of its effort to reduce China's growing sway in the region.

A statement issued in the early hours Saturday said an accord was reached on "core elements" of the 11-member pact.

"We have confirmed there was no mistake about us having reached a basic agreement", Motegi said.

The 11 ministers also agreed on suspending 20 clauses in the original text if Washington stays out of the pact, including 11 on intellectual property.

Despite the absence of the U.S. now, Mustapa said, Malaysia still stands to gain benefits from market access to countries such as Canada, Peru and Mexico.

"There was never an intention not to show up at any meeting", he said.

Motegi noted that since the United States announced its withdrawal in January this year, the TPP ministers have held many meetings in March, May, July, August and September before gathering in Da Nang.

US President Donald Trump had withdrawn his country from the original 12-nation TPP agreement.

The TPP member countries are trying to find a way forward without the US, the biggest economy and, before Trump took office, one of its most assertive supporters.

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