TPP countries salvage agreement to keep trade deal alive

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"The substance is something all the TPP countries can agree on", said Motegi.

Talks fell into disarray on Friday when Japan's President Shinzo Abe canceled a meeting of leaders from the TPP countries after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not arrive there.

Reuters is reporting this morning that the 11 nations working on the new version of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact have agreed to the core elements of a deal but more work needs to be done.

"This is not the first time the TPP has faced some challenges", the Trade Minister said.

Viet Nam's Industry and Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh (left) and Japanese economic revitalisation minister Toshimitsu Motegi, co-chair Saturday's press conference. After some disagreements between the two during the tête-à-tête, Abe told the other waiting leaders that the meeting was off, and Trudeau went on to meet with Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.

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.

When US abandoned the TPP it was widely expected that the deal would collapse.

The US remains outside the agreement, at least during a Trump presidency, but negotiators hope the world's largest economy will rejoin a trade bloc that Japan has championed in part because it represents a bulwark against rising Chinese geo-political influence.

"It is critical for the future prosperity of our country and for hard-working Canadians that Canada continues to aggressively pursue real market access improvements for our goods and series abroad", said Mr. Westcott.

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A trade pact between Australia and 10 other nations has been salvaged, with Canada returning to the negotiating table after boycotting talks at the last minute.

The agreement will now be called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), says a statement released today.

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 totalled $356 billion past year.

"A TPP without the United States is a very different entity, as it is now without Canada", he said.

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

Canadian media reported a defensive stance from Trudeau's contingent, who sought to characterise the no-show as a "misunderstanding" about the schedule and the intention to try to conclude a way forward on TPP at Da Nang. 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).

The TPP member countries are trying to find a way forward without the USA, the biggest economy and, before Trump took office, one of its most assertive supporters. It cut into the planned TPP leaders' meeting and kept the other leaders waiting for them in the room.

Junichi Sugawara, a trade policy expert at the Mizuho Research Institute, said, "Realistically speaking, I think it will be quite hard for Japan to fend off requests to start negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement, although it depends on how hard the United States pushes". The official disputes the notion it was a snub because the leaders would mingle at APEC events over the next 24 hours anyway.

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