Saturday, November 11, 2017

Trade ministers agree to Asia-Pacific trade pact without United States

Photo during APEC meeting in Danang, Vietnam / Phot from AFP (ctto)

Manila, Philippines - During the meeting sideline meeting in Danang, Vietnam, Ministers from Asia-Pacific countries have agreed to move and press with a major trade deal without the United States, which is considered as the world’s largest economy.

Earlier this year, America withdrawn from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement aimed to “promote economic growth” between its allies.

President Trump then went alone under his “America First” policy which dismayed allies and casted doubt into the agreement of tying lower tariffs to strong environmental and labor protections.

Now dubbed as TPP-11, the remaining countries said that they had “agreed on the core elements” of a deal at the sidelines of APEC summit in Danang.

The ministers said that further talks would be needed to reach the consensus of everyone before signing the deal, which they named the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Though because stalling the talks in days, some fears it could collapse altogether.

Meanwhile, Japan’s lead negotiator Toshimitsu Motegi said that remaining allies would still welcome the United States should it wished to get back into the pact.

“This time all the 11 countries are on board and this would send out a very strong positive message to the United States and other Asia Pacific countries in the region,” Motegi said.

Canada’s trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, considered the breakthrough as “big progress”, he said in his tweet.

Canada promotes to maintain the environmental and labor protection, which were thrown into jeopardy when the United States pulled out from the agreement this year.

President Trump is among the attendees of APEC summit in Danang, Vietnam, where he said in a speech that his country will “no longer tolerate” unfair trade, as well as closed market and intellectual property theft.

Meanwhile, China’s Xi delivered a blatant but different version of Trump, casting that his country is now the new global leader for free trade.

Some Analyst say that these provisioned deals will bring breath new life into global free trade.

Source: Manila Times