Monday, 17 December, 2018

11 countries sign historic free trade deal

EU says no'immediate clarity from US on trade tariffs EU says no'immediate clarity from US on trade tariffs
Andrew Cummings | 10 March, 2018, 00:54

Eleven Pacific Rim nations gathered in Chile on Thursday to sign a massive free-trade agreement that the United States abandoned more than a year ago.

Following the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with 10 other Asia Pacific countries on March 8, Malaysia sends a strong signal of the country's commitment towards an open and liberal trading system, in light of recent protectionist sentiment which is prevalent in a number of countries.

"For wine, it's often the non-tariff barriers which present more of a cost in emerging export markets".

Each signatory will now begin their respective domestic ratification processes, and the agreement will enter into force when at least 50% of the member countries have done so.

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.

In January, 2017, on just his third day as president, Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement, raising questions about the future and relevance of TPP.

Trade supporters have said that in reality, free trade deals usually delivered much higher returns.

Taiwan will continue to adjust its laws and regulations, assess the impact of CPTPP on the domestic economy, step up its lobbying efforts overseas and communication at home in an effort to push for its early entry into the deal, the bureau said.

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The pact represents 13.5 per cent of the global economy with a market of 500 million people, and comes amid a backlash against globalisation.

"As tariffs tumble, the TPP-11 will drive demand for Australia goods and services, helping create new Australian jobs".

America is a notable absentee after President Donald Trump withdrew from the process - this has raised fears that medical products may become dangerously expensive given the advantage TPP potentially offers to USA pharma companies.

"And together with Canada and Chile we intend to ensure the promise of CPTPP is delivered on for workers, families, farmers, businesses and consumers".

Alongside the agreement, New Zealand has also joined Canada and Chile in issuing a joint declaration on fostering progressive and inclusive trade.

White House officials had voiced support for a second look and possibly rejoining the group, but a senior Canadian official said if that proves to be the case, there would be no special treatment for the U.S.

China isn't part of the TPP and is trying to get up a rival deal with seven TPP countries, including Australia, and eight others.

"The deal will provide export access into new markets, including Canada, Peru and Mexico, benefiting palm oil, rubber and electronics exporters", it added.

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