Final Version of Trans-Pacific Trade Deal Published, Omits United States Provisions

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The New Zealand government is in negotiations with other signatories to the 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement over an unknown number of so-called "side letters" that effectively remove countries' obligations to specific elements of the pact that they object to.

Australia says the agreement would eliminate more than 98 percent of tariffs in a trade zone with a combined GDP of some US$13 trillion. It is expected to be signed in Chile on March 8.

The NIA says the withdrawal of the United States from the deal past year has allowed the suspension of a number of provisions that had originally concerned New Zealanders, including those related to intellectual property, pharmaceuticals and investment.

But the most recent analysis of the new TPP - known by the acronym CPTPP - predicts lower USA imports into Canada.

Up until then, Trump had said he only wanted to do unilateral deals between the United States and one other country.

"Still, it took us half a year to reach the agreement (for the TPP 11) with intensive talks", he said, when asked whether there was room to reopen talks to lure Washington back.

"The (Malcolm) Turnbull government wants to see this landmark agreement enter into force as soon as possible so Australian farmers, businesses and manufactures can enjoy its benefits", he said. They feared the USA was giving up its leadership role and ceding even more power to China. "The red meat sector alone employs more than 80,000 people in regional New Zealand - all jobs that depend on our ability to export competitively".

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Trump told CNBC in late January that he would be open to TPP if he was able to make a better deal.

The countries, which include Japan, Canada and Australia, intend to sign the deal in March.

Trump suggested during an interview in January that the United States could get back into the deal if more favorable terms were presented, but no formal talks have been announced.

The US withdrawal does reduce the economic value to New Zealand of the CPTPP, according to the National Interest Analysis released by the government today.

Senate Republicans have been especially vocal lately on trade issues, and in a letter ahead of the the States of the Union address urged Trump to complete an update of three-nation NAFTA deal.

"An improved TPP would therefore bolster and sustain the economic growth America has experienced over the past year facilitated by the regulatory reductions and reforms enacted by your Administration and the substantial tax cuts you signed into law", the letter says.

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