World Media

'Screwed' by Justin Trudeau, leaders fume over scuppered Trans-Pacific Partnership deal

Share
TPP deal has not sunk yet: Core elements of deal agreed, more work to be done

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

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not show up for talks between the remaining 11 nations in the TPP.

While some countries might be eager for a deal, notably Australia, New Zealand and Japan - their respective national news outlets quoted government sources expressing disappointment at Trudeau supposedly "screwing" and "sabotaging" a final agreement by being a no-show - Trudeau said they should never have expected to leave Vietnam with an agreement in hand.

According to a statement issued by the Minister of International Trade and Industry on Saturday, the 11 members of the partnership have agreed on the text of the CPTPP agreement but a number of issues remain to be finalised before the signing of the deal.

Foreign ministers had agreed on Thursday night to revive the TPP after the original agreement was rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump days after he took office.

However, there is more work to be done before a final agreement in principle is ironed out as 11 Pacific nations seek to salvage a trade deal, which almost sank after President Donald Trump bailed the United States out of the original 12-nation accord, covering 40 per cent of the world's economy.

Talks between trade and foreign ministers from the group failed to reach agreement on their usual joint statement in the face of US demands to remove language about supporting free trade and fighting protectionism.

"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.

Talks - often heated - have been held on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in the Vietnamese resort of Danang, where Trump and other leaders held their main meeting on Saturday.

Canada's representatives were at the meeting and appear to have re-entered talks.

Ardern said CPTPP was "a different deal than what was being negotiated at the time that the United States were at the table ... not least because there have been some suspended clauses which were important to NZ in particular".

"We weren't ready to close it yesterday", Trudeau told reporters at the closing news conference for the APEC summit in Vietnam.

"The primary reason is that Canada is in a hard situation trying to balance the interests of the TPP, which has Mexico as a party, but also keep alive the North American Free Trade Agreement", Professor Rothwell said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says talks have effectively collapsed in Vietnam.

Zhang said the Beijing-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact will not be impacted by TPP, to which China is not party.

Among the most sensitive for Canada is understood to be protection for automobile production, while Viet Nam has been resistant to the pact's insistence on minimum standards for labour and environmental practices.

Mr Trump and the other 20 leaders of the APEC economies will on Saturday retreat into the Summit for private talks. They're all attending the APEC Leaders Retreat in the afternoon.

"The fact that worldwide meetings were held continuously in a very short time is unprecedented, it did not happen even during the earlier negotiation period", Motegi said.

Share