Trans-Pacific Partnership talks collapse after Canada pulls out of trade deal

TPP deal has not sunk yet: Core elements of deal agreed, more work to be done

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending Canada's actions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, asserting the country simply was not ready to put pen to paper on a final agreement because of lingering concerns around culture and the automotive sector.

The Vietnamese trade minister says 11 Pacific Rim countries have reached a "fundamental agreement" on continuing with a free trade pact after the USA abandoned it.

Trudeau said he didn't snub other TPP leaders when he skipped a planned meeting to discuss the deal, as there would have been little point in having such talks when there was still so much distance between the countries on certain chapters.

His decision Friday to keep negotiating for a better deal in the 11-country pact rather than striking an agreement led to the abrupt cancellation of a TPP leaders' meeting on the sidelines of a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation.

The US president said he was willing to strike trade deals with Pacific nations, but only on a country-to-country basis.

Draft documents issued Saturday by ministers of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum omitted the leaders' usual vow to combat protectionism, but still expressed support for "free and open trade and investment" and for institutions such as the World Trade Organization. But more work must be done before leaders of the countries involved can endorse the plan, said Anh and his Japanese counterpart, Toshimitsu Motegi.

Foreign ministers had agreed on Thursday night to revive the TPP after the original agreement was rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump days after he took office.

Japan has led revival of the pact since Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from TPP in his first act as president in January.

Trudeau said Canada will always be "extremely closely linked to the American economy" but there was a need to diversify trade through other deals.

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.

But this meeting lasted more than twice as long as the Mexico bilateral, a sign of tough talk. He also says the ministers changed the name of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.

"The suspended provisions, in fact, will help narrow TPP challenges for the country", Thang said.

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.

"The Canadian prime minister is clearly equivocating and that is deeply is the position that the United States took under President Trump".

Without the United States, the 11-party TPP's share of world gross domestic product drops to 13 percent, but trade experts say the deal would still create a free trade area with a high-standard of market liberalisation.

On Sunday, Trudeau will attend the ASEAN summit of 10 Southeast Asian leaders in Manila, hosted by President Rodgrigo Duterte, who has faced harsh worldwide criticism for his human rights record.

She was also set to meet him at an Apec dinner later on Friday, and on Saturday in Vietnam.

"We're in an easier place to try things out, to test policy sensitivities even if we don't get everybody around the table", Bollard said.



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