New Zealand signs Trans-Pacific trade pact

New Zealand signs Trans-Pacific trade pact

New Zealand signs Trans-Pacific trade pact

The eleven nations that remained after the USA pulled out of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) are set to sign a revamped trade pact on Thursday.

Felipe Lopeandia, Chile's top trade negotiator, said the deal will "send a political signal to the world and to the United States itself, that this is a global agreement".

The deal had been on life support after Trump pulled the United States out of the original deal when he became president.

"Today, we can proudly conclude this process, sending a strong message to the worldwide community that open markets, economic integration and global cooperation are the best tools for creating economic opportunities and prosperity", said Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

The bloc's combined market encompasses more than 290 million people and accounts for $2.7 trillion or more than three-quarters of the economic activity on the southern continent, according to the ministry data.

But Japan, a key driver behind the revised pact, is skeptical.

The pact will come into force 60 days after it is fully ratified by six of the 11 members. The Australian Council of Trade Unions, for instance, called the CPTPP "a raw deal for working Australians", while former New Zealand lawmaker Barry Coates argued that "TPP-11 would override important aspects of our personality" and threaten national sovereignty.

More than 20 provisions were suspended or changed in the new agreement, mostly rules over intellectual property originally inserted at the demand of U.S. negotiators. Governments and activists of other member nations worry the changes will raise the costs of medicine.

Violent Video Games and Donald Trump

Still another fear was recently voiced in New Zealand: Perhaps the US will return to the agreement.

Canada and 10 other countries are preparing to sign the rebooted Trans-Pacific Partnership this week, and Japan's envoy says it will help set the stage for closer relations with China.

"We're show the world that progressive trade is the way forward, that fair, balanced, and principled trade is the way forward, and that putting citizens first is the way forward for the world when it comes to trade", Canadian Trade Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne said.

Trump, who abandoned TPP because he felt his administration could negotiate better deals one on one, told CNBC earlier this year that he would be open to returning to the agreement if it were "substantially better".

The Council of Canadians is anxious, however, that with Mercosur, the Liberal government is again rushing into another corporate agreement, without a debate on the needs and wishes of the public, Dey said.

Coming in the same week that Trump risked a trade war over his decision to introduce tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, the deal is seen by some members as striking a blow against protectionism.

He announced the plan for tariffs last week, rattling financial markets.

But Parker told Kate Hawkesby the other countries - including Japan, Canada and Mexico - are standing firm.

More news: Amazon Explores New Checking Accounts Product

Related news