Published: Mon, November 13, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Japanese minister says all TPP countries now agree on trade pact

Japanese minister says all TPP countries now agree on trade pact

But this time, the Canadian prime minister had a somewhat atypical agenda for his face-to-face chat with the Mexican president.

The talks were a corollary to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit underway in Vietnam.

The agreement, which still needs to be finalised, would now be called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), he said.

The Vietnamese trade minister says 11 Pacific Rim countries have reached a "fundamental agreement" on continuing with a free trade pact after the US abandoned it.

The Trudeau government, on the other hand, wanted to throw some sand in the gears.

These include to changes to trade rules related to the auto sector and culture.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter, provided a peek behind the scenes of what followed during the TPP talks in Danang.

China had noted that the 11 TPP countries had made some progress on the deal, but it "hasn't paid too much attention" because it is focused on APEC work during the meeting, Zhang Jun, Director General of the Department of International Economic Affairs of China's Foreign Ministry, told reporters. They had also been informed about unease about the deal among a few of the other countries.

The draft said ministers had agreed the core elements of what they described as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

That's where Mexico fit in.

But Trudeau argued he sent signals all week that Canada would not close the TPP treaty unless it was right for Canadians.

"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.

The statement marks an important breakthrough for the deal, which was on the brink of collapsing after President Donald Trump announced the United States would be leaving the pact earlier this year. Yesterday's Trudeau no-show was a major loss of face of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

But some countries, including Malaysia and Vietnam, sought to opt out of such provisions during the talks, something Canada felt was untenable.

Motegi noted that since the United States announced its withdrawal in January this year, the TPP ministers have held many meetings in March, May, July, August and September before gathering in Da Nang.

After the meeting, Trudeau and Abe were supposed to walk a short distance to a scheduled TPP leaders' meeting.

The compromise was delayed by last-minute disagreements that prevented TPP leaders from meeting to endorse a plan on Friday.

At this stage there's no meeting of all 11 leaders planned for Saturday. Ottawa was also dissatisfied with the way Japan had chaired the TPP meetings, the source said.

Trudeau faced sharp criticism on social media and in news reports for not attending the TPP meeting.

On Sunday, Trudeau will attend the ASEAN summit of 10 Southeast Asian leaders in Manila, hosted by President Rodgrigo Duterte, who has faced harsh worldwide criticism for his human rights record.

"It's less than ideal to have every leader and trade minister from the other 10 countries sitting around the table and not have Canada there".

Staying away from the meeting wasn't a negotiating strategy, but it did yield results, the official claimed.

Partly to counter China's growing dominance in Asia, Japan had been lobbying hard for the TPP pact, which aims to eliminate tariffs on industrial and farm products across the 11-nation bloc whose trade totalled $356 billion previous year.

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