11 countries sign historic free trade deal

10 March, 2018, 02:07 | Author: Jared Lewis
  • President Trump signed proclamations at the White House Thursday that establish new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports

Federated Farmers is delighted to see the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) formally signed off today. Even so, concerns about protectionism are growing after Trump's pledge to slap new tariffs on steel and aluminum, including on long-standing US allies., potentially triggering tit-for-tat duties.

The agreement, also known as TPP 11, was finalised after Mr Trump pulled his country out of the original TPP deal shortly after he became president in January past year.

The revised agreement eliminates some requirements of the original TPP demanded by U.S. negotiators, including rules to ramp up intellectual property protection of pharmaceuticals.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CP TPP) was officially inked at a ceremony chaired by Chilean President Micelle Bachelet in Santiago de Chile on March 8.

Meltzer said the United States' ability to shape the rules of trade in the Asia-Pacific region "is very much diminished".

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The TPP, which would have represented 40 percent of the global economy and almost one-quarter of its trade, was left for dead after Trump pulled out to pursue his "America First" agenda, but the revamped deal, now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), is still a significant achievement and a victory for openness, its supporters said at the signing ceremony in Santiago, Chile.

In January, Trump, who also has threatened to pull the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, told the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that it was possible Washington might return to the TPP pact if it got a better deal.

These new markets include a combined gross domestic product of $13.7 trillion and include 3 of Australias top 10 agricultural trade markets; Japan, Vietnam and New Zealand.

After the US withdrawal, Japan and Canada took the lead in pushing for the deal to continue, with the revised trade pact being finalized in January.

Australia's Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud, said TPP-11 was the world's largest ever regional trade agreement which created "huge opportunities".

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Official responses by Mexico and Canada, indicate they will wait for the USA measures deemed as unacceptable to be enacted, and await what the real consequences will be.

"It is a strong signal against protectionist pressures", Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz said, according to local news outlet Emol.

For New Zealand's kiwifruit industry, the CPTPP will eliminate tariffs on its shipments to all 11 signatory nations, with single-desk marketer Zespri saying the move will have particular benefit for trade into Japan. The pact was aimed at diminishing the increasing economic dominance of China in a rapidly growing part of the world. The thinking was that China would have an incentive to open its market and liberalize its policies in an effort to eventually qualify for TPP membership. "It becomes a modest liberalization measure". Officials signed the deal Thursday in Santiago, Chile.

Known as TPP-11, the newly created trade bloc does not include the United States, but links selected American, Asian and Pacific nations.

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