Canada's Trudeau welcomes new trade deal, warns more work to come






Da Nang – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Saturday expressed his satisfaction with an agreement on a new trade treaty reached by 11 Pacific nations, not including the United States.



 Trudeau warned however that more work needs to be done to reach a final agreement on the revised Transpacific Partnership (TPP), set to go ahead despite the fact that President Donald Trump had previously pulled the US out of the deal.
"We are pleased with the progress we made to establish a framework for a new TPP during our time at APEC,” Trudeau told reporters at a press briefing bringing to an end the APEC summit of Asia-Pacific leaders.
“There is still more important work to be done to ensure we reach the best deal for Canada and for Canadians.”
Negotiations were thrown into doubt when Trudeau failed to show up at a planned Friday night meeting for heads of government to discuss the TPP.
“My responsibility is to ensure that this trade deal, the agreement we sign is the right one for Canadians,” he said, adding that environment protection, labour rights, environmental protection, gender issues and the auto trade are areas of concern.
At a press briefing in Da Nang, Vietnamese trade minister Tran Tuan Anh announced that the new agreement would be called the Comprehensive and Progressive Transpacific Partnership or CPTPP.
"We have agreed many important issues for the past round of negotiation and reached an agreement to maintain the TPP, but with a new name," said Anh. 
“The new agreement will keep all the content of TPP, but allows membership countries to temporarily delay some obligations to ensure balance in the new context,” he said, adding negotiators will need to review before officially signing it. 
“The new agreement will suspend 20 articles of the original TPP agreement, of which 10 are related to intellectual property,” said Japanese Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, who co-chaired the press briefing.  
"Many countries have proposed more delays, but too many will affect the deal, so we agreed to a list of limited terms," he said.
The treaty's future was thrown in doubt earlier this year when the US withdrew from it shortly after the inauguration of President Trump. 
The deal, which was spearheaded by his predecessor Barack Obama, would slash tariffs throughout the Pacific region, but Trump - who travelled to Hanoi on Saturday - has expressed a preference for bilateral trade agreements.
The remaining members are Japan, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
They represent 11 of the 21 member states of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group, which closed its 25th meeting on Saturday.
“APEC has shown its dynamism, adaptability and flexibility towards changes,” said Vietnamese president Tran Dai Quang, chair of the APEC leaders' meeting.
“This requires APEC to uphold its leadership in finding new drivers for growth, trade, investment, connectivity and in finding ways to ensure that the benefits of globalization and economic integration are equally distributed.”

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Saturday, November 11th 2017
By Bac Pham,
           


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