Japanese minister says all TPP countries now agree on trade pact

Frederick Owens
November 13, 2017

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threw the future of the so-called TPP-11 into doubt yesterday afternoon by failing to turn up to a meeting of leaders of the 11 countries still working towards a new Pacific Rim trade and investment deal that is as much geo-political as economic in its focus.

The draft said ministers had agreed the core elements of what they described as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

While some countries might be eager for a deal, notably Australia, New Zealand and Japan - their respective national news outlets quoted government sources expressing disappointment at Trudeau supposedly "screwing" and "sabotaging" a final agreement by being a no-show - Trudeau said they should never have expected to leave Vietnam with an agreement in hand.

The 11 ministers "have agreed on every word and expression used in the ministerial statement" to be released Saturday, Motegi said.

Trump and other APEC leaders, including President Xi Jinping of China and Russian President Vladimir Putin, will meet on Friday in Danang.

The agreement follows days of uncertainty over whether the countries would be able to agree on the terms of the deal, after U.S. President Donald Trump ditched it this year in favor of an "America First" policy.

Japan has led revival of the pact since Donald Trump withdrew the USA from TPP in his first act as president in January.

Motegi, taking part in the Abe-Trudeau summit, said "no clear explanation" was offered as to why Canada can not support and announce the agreement at the leaders' level.

Discussions would not continue without Canada, she said.

Talks - often heated - have been held on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in the Vietnamese resort of Danang, where Trump and other leaders held their main meeting on Saturday.

More news: Son on the double as South Korea edge out Colombia

Trudeau and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had bilateral talks immediately before that planned meeting.

The agreement, which still needs to be finalised, would now be called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), he said.

Earlier this week, Trudeau said wasn't going to be pressured into committing to an agreement "at all costs" and that it would have to address the best interests of Canadians.

As regular readers will know, MB's biggest concerns around the original TPP were that it would have extended patent and copyright protections, as well as instituted an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provision, which would have opened the door to multinational companies suing the Australian Government for implementing rules against their interests (e.g. on environmental, health and safety grounds). "We've done great work on a very important deal", Mr Ciobo said.

The 10 other leaders including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern turned up expecting Canada to be present at 8pm NZ time.

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

The Apec leaders met in closed sessions on Saturday, pausing for the traditional "family photograph", taken above the South China Sea.

On Sunday, Trudeau will attend the ASEAN summit of 10 Southeast Asian leaders in Manila, hosted by President Rodgrigo Duterte, who has faced harsh global criticism for his human rights record.

"We have witnessed changes more rapid and complex than we expect", he said in opening remarks.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER