Pacific trade pact countries go it alone without US

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh. Font Size

Parker says Donald Trump's moves towards protectionism, make free trade more crucial than ever before. "Ministers expressed their determination to complete their domestic processes to bring the Agreement into force expeditiously", said the ministers in a joint statement.

The argy-bargy over America's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium is set to briefly take a back seat as 11 nations sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will reduce tariffs in countries that together amount to more than 13 per cent of the global economy - a total of $10 trillion.

Trade ministers and delegates from the remaining members of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) attend the TPP ministerial meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders summit Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 in Danang, Vietnam.

Chilean authorities say the new chapter on intellectual property protection is now "more balanced".

Even without the United States, the deal will span a market of almost 500 million people, making it one of the world's largest trade agreements, according to Chilean and Canadian trade statistics.

CPTPP members include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Darussalam, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

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

"By keeping the TPP alive at a time when many wrote it off, Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and I ensured the door remains open for the USA and, indeed, other countries to join in the future", Mr Turnbull told a business summit on Wednesday.

"The CPTPP also contains ways to address complex non-tariff barriers, which are often costlier than tariffs and more hard to quantify".

The secrecy that shrouded the agreement during worldwide talks also drew intense skepticism from both ends of the political spectrum, despite President Barack Obama's determined pitch for his signature trade initiative.

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".

"Horticulture is growing and the world wants access to our fruit and vegetables so the signing of this trade deal is timely", chief executive Mike Chapman said.

"Like it or not, the Trump ad-ministration and the U.S. could find itself increasingly isolated in the worldwide trade policy arena", he said.