Eleven Nations Set To Sign Pacific Trade Pact Without US

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have represented 40 percent of the global economy and almost one-quarter of its trade, was left for dead after Trump pulled out to pursue his "America First" agenda before the TPP could take effect.

The U.S., originally the biggest TPP economy, was one of the trade deal's strongest supporters before Trump took office.

The suspension of 22 provisions makes this a substantially different deal from the old TPP. "It is now a trade bloc that discriminates against the U.S".

The deal came as U.S. President Donald Trump vowed earlier in the day to press ahead with a plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that other nations and the International Monetary Fund said could start a global trade war.

"The signing is a significant moment for open markets, free trade and the rules-based worldwide system", Australian Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said in a statement heralding Thursday's signing.

The CPTPP will reduce trade tariffs for member countries that together account for more than 13 percent of the global economy and covers 500 million people.

The Labour Party, which rejected the previous TPP deal, has trumpeted the revised agreement as an improvement.

National University of Singapore economist Davin Chor said the deal showed that the rest of the world was prepared to advance free trade, with or without the US.

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Then, thousands marched around the country in opposition.

"This is a fair deal for New Zealand", Mr Parker said after he had signed the CPTPP.

The final version of the agreement was released in New Zealand on February 21.

"The real worry has to be not only that our government has rolled over on this one", she added, "but that it and the other 10 will roll over to the demands of the Trump administration if they want to re-enter". "We welcome it becoming positive toward the TPP".

The CPTPP and talks with Mercosur are part of the Canadian strategy to diversify as its traditional and largest trading partner, the US, is shrouded in uncertainty because of the potential for an increase in steel and aluminum tariffs.

As well, Trump has threatened to kill the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations that are underway with Canada and Mexico.

Trump has also threatened to dump the North American Free Trade Agreement unless the other two members of the pact, Canada and Mexico, agree to provisions that Trump says would boost USA manufacturing and employment.

The Trump administration "thinks they have more leverage than they do, and they are overplaying their hand", Antonio Ortiz-Mena, a former Mexican trade negotiator, told Foreign Policy.



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