ibusinesslines.com September 20, 2018

Pacific nations scramble to save trade pact after Trump exit

10 November 2017, 12:33 | Melissa Porter

Pacific nations scramble to save trade pact after Trump exit

Pacific nations scramble to save trade pact after Trump exit

Discord emerged between Japan and Canada over progress on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal on Thursday, as Japan said countries "agree in principle" on a way forward, but Canada said there was no such agreement. As of Friday morning there remained uncertainty as to whether an agreement had been reached, or would be reached, and what sort of statement the leaders might release.

According to Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Affairs Luis Videgaray, the talks are aimed at amending the existing agreement after US President Donald Trump pulled out from the free trade agreement in January.

He said the issue was a serious one for New Zealand, though he was happy with the way he thought it had been resolved.

The official acknowledged a couple of people around the table might say Canada is being obstructionist, but that it's probably due to their own domestic pressure to sign the deal.

He will head to Danang on Saturday for the two-day APEC leaders' summit, before moving on to the Philippines to attend the annual meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

"We walked into a meeting and they were the only one absent". "Of course there is work to go through, the process of ratification and some side matters that will now need to be worked out".

Australian trade minister Steven Ciobo said the meeting was "very good" but did not confirm that agreement had been reached.

"We are at the table, we're being constructive, we're being creative but let's be honest, some are hard discussions", Champagne said. Similar concerns in Europe nearly scuttled the Canada-EU trade deal, which recently took provisional effect.

The establishment of comprehensive partnership between Vietnam and Canada is not only an important milestone in the bilateral relationship but also gives a momentum to cooperative ties, especially when the two nations are sharing more interests bilaterally, regionally and internationally.

It's understood Canada, the second largest economy in the TPP since the United States withdrew, had been in bilateral talks with Japan on role difference before Trudeau's no show at the meeting.

"Despite reports, there is no agreement in principle on TPP", Champagne tweeted.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso told reporters in Tokyo on Friday that there were still details being hammered out, citing Mexico and Vietnam as two holdouts.

Peru meanwhile is more focused on talks toward a trade-and-investment agreement between a smaller group of countries than trying to save the TPP without the USA, a Peruvian official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

He said if there was a misunderstanding between ministers and officials, it was not on New Zealand's part.

"There will be no future TPP 12 [with the U.S.] if there is no TPP 11", Motegi added.

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