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Vietnam says fundamental deal reached on trade

14 November 2017

Ministers said they have tasked officials with continuing their technical work, including continuing their efforts toward finalising those items on which consensus has not yet been achieved, as well as legal verification of the English text and translation to prepare the finalised text for signature. The compromise was delayed by last-minute disagreements that prevented the TPP leaders from meeting to endorse a plan on Friday.

Talks to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact have effectively collapsed after Canada pulled out.

In announcing the CPTPP deal on Saturday, Japan's TPP minister Toshimitsu Motegi says the agreement "sends a very strong message to the United States and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region", reports media outlets. In this global trade brief, we discuss the resurgence of the goal to renegotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership among the remaining 11 nations and the reaching of an agreement over the past weekend on the "core elements" of a deal.

Over the last few months, Japan and Australia had lobbied hard for the agreement.

"We have reached an agreement on a number of fundamental parts", Vietnam's trade minister, Tran Tuan Anh, told reporters in the coastal resort city of Da Nang, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Trudeau said his unexpected absence from a TPP leaders' meeting on Friday, which caused consternation among his fellow leaders and confusion about Canada's stance, stemmed from an extra-long meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"Indeed it is a sign of the strength of that relationship that we can respectfully disagree on an important issue like the TPPA but still get on with the business of government", Ms Ghahraman said.

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Canada's interest in becoming a party to TPP-11 is also said to be contingent on several additional improvements including in relation to the auto sector (in view of the fact that US content may not count in the determination of TPP-11 origin requirements, with the USA being outside of the TPP), intellectual property rules, protection of supply management in certain agricultural sectors and Canada's cultural industries.

Discussions would not continue without Canada, she said. Detractors of the TPP say it favors corporate interests over labor and other rights. Unlike the TPP trade pact, whose decisions will eventually be enforced, APEC's statements are nonbinding.

The 11 countries remaining in the trade pact rejected by Mr Trump in January have been working to revise the deal to allow them to proceed without United States involvement. Trump has said he prefers country-to-country deals and is seeking to renegotiate several major trade agreements to, as he says, "put America first".

Chinese President Xi Jinping flanked Mr Trump's other side.

APEC has itself been buffeted by the changes under Trump.

APEC's members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the USA and Vietnam.

Vietnam says fundamental deal reached on trade