Trans-Pacific Partnership talks resume after Trudeau no-show

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has touched down in Vietnam ahead of a TPP ministers meeting

The 11-nation deal was thrown into limbo on Friday after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau snubbed a leader's meeting and raised a raft of unforeseen issues.

The countries, which include Canada and Japan, agreed to central components of an agreement that would allow the lifting of tariffs between them, promoting more open trade.

"Ministers are pleased to announce that they have agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for the Trans Pacific Partnership", the statement reads.

New Zealand's Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker said the CPTPP's "enforcement standards for labour laws and environmental standards and the right to regulate" were the strongest "that there has ever been in a trade agreement".

Mr Trudeau is yet to explain why he got "cold feet", with some suspicion that upcoming elections in industrial Quebec may have contributed to his last minute hesitation to support the TPP.

United States President Donald Trump abandoned the TPP - regarded as former President Barack Obama's signature trade deal - after winning office in January this year.

Talks to revive the free trade deal appeared to have collapsed on Friday night when Trudeau failed to show up to a leaders' meeting, but Champagne blamed his absence on "a misunderstanding about the schedule".

"I'm very confident. And I know my counterparts in the 10 other countries, we all feel that we can accommodate the various questions that are outstanding".

The ministers have assigned chief negotiators to continue to work on contentious technical issues and conduct legal reviews in preparation for the signing of the pact, Anh said.

Those talks took place on the sidelines of APEC summitry: ceremonial arrivals in bright tailored shirts to a gala banquet, a closed-door retreat and scores of meetings among the 21 leaders attending the event in this coastal resort city.

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

Some 20 provisions of the original agreement were suspended.

The TPP aims to eliminate tariffs on industrial and farm products across a bloc whose trade totaled $356 billion past year.

Indeed, since his arrival in Vietnam, Trudeau has said he wouldn't cave to "pressure" from others, telegraphing that Canada did not have its pen in hand heading into Danang, the site of the APEC conference.

"The scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Abe ... went long, we obviously had a lot to talk about, and at the end of the meeting it became clear it was in everyone's interest to postpone the meeting on TPP11", Trudeau said as an explanation.

Reuters said a statement was due to be made today, and it marked "a successful conclusion to talks in Vietnam", which at one stage had looked headed for failure amid resistance by Canada.

APEC, whose leaders hold their full summit on Saturday, has itself been buffeted by the changes under Trump. Under the original TPP, in order for a vehicle to enter Canada tariff-free, 45 per cent of it must have originated in a TPP member nation (auto parts themselves must have a regional content value of 35 to 45 per cent).

In their retreat, leaders were expected to discuss broader regional concerns such as North Korea's nuclear program and missile tests.

"The fact that global meetings were held continuously in a very short time is unprecedented, it did not happen even during the earlier negotiation period", Motegi said.

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