New Zealand signs Trans-Pacific trade pact

Frederick Owens
March 9, 2018

The deal, which is now formally known as The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), doesn't pack quite the same punch without the support of the US, but it will still be one of the world's three largest trade agreements.

"We have nine pages of new text wrapped around the old text, 22 items suspended - not removed".

Under the deal, service providers will be able to compete for some government contracts in other member states for the first time, including in Singapore. "It is now a trade bloc that discriminates against the U.S".

Altogether, the 11 signatories of the CPTPP represent 13.5 percent of the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), totaling some 10 billion dollars and 480 million inhabitants.

The People's Democratic Movement party of Chile said via Twitter the trade deal will be disastrous for small and medium-sized businesses and will give disproportionate power to multinational corporations that can, under the soon to be signed accord, sue individual member states in global courts.

"This is a fair deal for New Zealand", Mr Parker said after he had signed the CPTPP. "And there are threats to those worldwide trading regimes". "Suspended in case the United States wants to come back in", University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey told a morning news show in the country.

As to how likely that prospect may be, well, it's tougher to say than one might expect.

Last month, Trump told the World Economic Forum in Davos that the U.S. might return if it got a better deal.

"He is seriously a globalist. There's no question" Trump said of Cohn

That is a prospect Japan's leaders certainly embrace.

The CPTPP maintains the original regulations but it excludes provisions to protect intellectual property that were imposed by the United States and generated strong rejection by civil society.

"The value of the TPP 11 is reinforced by the United States tariff decision".

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo will join his counterparts from 10 Pacific countries for the signing ceremony in Chile on Thursday.

The European Union said this week that it is ready to retaliate against Trump's tariffs - of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports - with counter-measures against iconic US products like Harley Davidson motorcycles, Levi's jeans and bourbon. The move, plus his administration's recent push to renegotiate NAFTA, portends ill for any hopes that Trump will reconsider his skepticism of free trade agreements.

The Trump administration "thinks they have more leverage than they do, and they are overplaying their hand", Antonio Ortiz-Mena, a former Mexican trade negotiator, told Foreign Policy.

The TTP-11, as the treaty is also known, has several detractors within civil society, but experts and government from all signing countries agree that it is one of the most audacious and beneficial deals reached in the world.

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