Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

TPP ministers affirm agreement in principle but no summit

TPP ministers affirm agreement in principle but no summit

Mr Trudeau becomes the second leader, behind Donald Trump, to desert the Trans-Pacific Partnership - but unlike the United States President his motives and future intentions have not been publicly explained.

"We were not going to be rushed into a deal", Trudeau told reporters at his closing APEC news conference on Saturday, echoing warnings he had issued repeatedly over the course of the week.

Briefing New Zealand media ahead of the APEC Leaders' Retreat in Da Nang, Viet Nam, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "I wouldn't want to speculate but I think probably we're in a more stable place than we were yesterday".

Reuters is reporting this morning that the 11 nations working on the new version of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact have agreed to the core elements of a deal but more work needs to be done.

In the meanwhile, Canada was accused of stalling.

Trump set out a strong message which made clear there was no turning back - particularly in a region which he believes is taking by running trade surpluses with the United States.

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

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"This is not the first time the TPP has faced some challenges", the Trade Minister said.

"I see a tremendous shift", Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said at the summit. The ministers also said they would work to improve the functioning of the World Trade Organisation - which Trump criticised in Friday's speech.

However, Parker said it had managed to narrow the scope of ISDS provisions, including an exemption for investment screening, and was still pursuing bilateral deals with CPTPP countries.

"Very late in the negotiation we tried to influence the outcome of this negotiation - we tried to get rid of them completely, we were unsuccessful in that".

Behind the scenes, White House officials quietly negotiated with the Kremlin over whether Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin would hold a formal meeting on the sidelines in Danang, with the Russians raising expectations for such a session.

Flavio Volpe, the president of the Auto Parts Manufacturing Association, said, "We can't be in two boats at once".

There are effectively four remaining issues of concern to Canada to be resolved, Mr Ciobo said.

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"This is already a very, very fast process considering how complicated the agreement is and the fundamental change with the USA withdrawing makes to the geometry of that agreement".

The agreement will now be called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), says a statement released today.

Other APEC members have stuck with their usual mantras of free trade and economic integration.

An agreement to push forward TPP would have been a boost for the principle of multilateral trade deals as opposed to the Trump approach.

"In that sense, it is a more comprehensive and progressive agreement than has ever been agreed in a major multi-lateral agreement before and it's important to some, including Canada, that that be referenced in the renaming of the text because there's some misunderstanding about that out in the public".

At the same time, Canada has been pushing to add new elements to the revised TPP, including provisions for gender, environment and labour.

"I'm not going to speculate on what other countries might say", Chrystia Freeland said when asked about the allegations that Canada is holding up the TPP.

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