11 countries sign historic free trade deal

White House publishes video games violence compilation

"The United States will not receive any fast-track access to this agreement", the unnamed Canadian official said Thursday in a teleconference call from Chile, providing technical background on the deal. With 260 million consumers and a GDP of over $3 trillion, Mercosur is the world's fourth-largest trading bloc and Canada has been in exploratory talks with the quartet to join the free trade deal.

But Japan, a key driver behind the revised pact, is skeptical.

When President Trump pulled the USA from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, spurning the massive free trade agreement in one of his first acts in the Oval Office, most analysts figured the deal was dead.

MIA Chief Executive Tim Ritchie says the CPTPP will immediately put New Zealand's red meat sector on a level playing field.

After years of negotiations, the original deal - the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP - was signed in February 2016 by 12 countries that border the Pacific Ocean.

"The CPTPP will establish a new standard for other regional economic integration agreements, and even for future negotiations in the World Trade Organization and in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation", said Chile's foreign ministry.

The multilateral commercial agreement goes into effect 60 days after it is ratified by six of the 11 member nations.

The CPTPP took out approximately 20 clauses from the TPP agreement, mainly over intellectual property regulations that had been demanded by the now absent U.S.

"We're proud.to show the world that progressive trade is the way forward, that fair, balanced, and principled trade is the way forward, and that putting citizens first is the way forward for the world when it comes to trade", Canadian Trade Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne said.

Trump vowed on Thursday to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, although he said there would be exemptions for NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada.

The pact includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Trump, who abandoned TPP because he felt his administration could negotiate better deals one on one, told CNBC earlier this year that he would be open to returning to the agreement if it were "substantially better".

"In the absence of CPTPP, we have been losing significant market share in countries where our competitors have preferential access - particularly Australia's beef access into Japan".

The Council of Canadians is anxious, however, that with Mercosur, the Liberal government is again rushing into another corporate agreement, without a debate on the needs and wishes of the public, Dey said.



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