New TPP trade agreement faces protests in Chile

10 March, 2018, 01:40 | Author: Edward Snyder
  • Francois-Philippe Champagne

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.

U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in January of a year ago, claiming that the executive order to scrap the deal would be a "great thing for the American worker".

The US is conspicuous as the only one of 12 nations involved in the original deal to not sign the new deal.

The other nine countries are Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The deal will eliminate 98 per cent of tariffs in a marketplace worth close to $14 trillion.

The UK is also understood to be exploring the possibility of joining a trans-Pacific trade bloc after it leaves the European Union, as part of plans to find alternative export markets.

The signing is expected to speed up ongoing negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an Asean-led pact involving seven CPTPP members, which Singapore is pushing hard to conclude.




"The Australian grain industry already has preferential access into a number of TPP-11 countries because of existing trade agreements, such as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement". Many have cited the size of the agreement, which runs into several chapters and thousands of pages, to contend that the benefits from tariff reductions may be cancelled out by the massive increase in regulatory requirements.

"Without the United States, it doesn't serve that objective", said Edward Alden, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

"The deal will provide export access into new markets including Canada, Peru and Mexico, benefiting palm oil, rubber and electronic exporters", the rating agency said in a statement, while noting that gains for members will be smaller without the US.

"Today, we can proudly conclude this process, sending a strong message to the worldwide community that open markets, economic integration and global cooperation are the best tools for creating economic opportunities and prosperity", Reuters quoted him as saying. According to Chapman, the deal could add between $1.2 billion and $4 billion to the economy.

"Into Japan, Australia is seeking to regain access for blueberries and improve market access for other horticulture commodities, including mangoes".

"It's vital that these worldwide trade agreements exist, without it, there's a real risk of more countries retreating to economic protectionism, which would hamper our access to key and emerging markets".

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