11 nations reach TPP trade deal

Minister of International Trade Francois Philippe Champagne. THE CANADIAN PRESS  Geoff Robins

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos that he helped push for an improved deal, showing how important the trade file has become for him personally.

"But at this stage, what we've been able to do is to conclude the negotiations on the TPP 11 and it will go forward, as you've seen, including with the support of Canada - and Prime Minister Trudeau has confirmed that - and the signing is planned for March in Chile".

After Canada yesterday agreed to rejoin 10 other nations in resurrecting the trade pact, Turnbull termed the deal a multi-billion-dollar trade windfall for Australia.

Abe has painted the deal as a spur to growth and reform in Japan and a symbol of commitment to free and multilateral trade at a time when Trump stresses "America First" policies.

Trade ministers negotiating in Tokyo over the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), also known as TPP-11, settled their differences a day after the USA said it would levy temporary tariffs on imported washing machines and solar cells and panels, a decision dubbed as protectionist. Trump said the agreement would cost American jobs.

Despite difficulties after Trump announced he would pull out of TPP, "we stuck with it. The agreement will deliver 18 new free trade agreements between the TPP parties", Turnbull and Ciobo said.

But a major labour union and a group representing auto parts manufacturers said the deal would cause job losses.

The agreement follows two days of high-level talks in Tokyo and was confirmed by Canadian International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

Trade officials had been meeting in Tokyo to resolve rifts including Canada's insistence on protections for its cultural industries such as movies, TV and music.

"Diversification is key for Canada. for us opening up markets is essential", he told reporters in Toronto.

And in Vietnam, a deal was expected to be reached but Trudeau shied away at the last minute.

But, an even greater concern is the impact that TPP II will have on NAFTA negotiations dealing with the auto sector.

The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance welcomed the deal, saying it would help boost food exports to Japan.



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