TPP trade deal talks move forward

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau removes his sunglasses as he arrives in Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam on Thursday. Later Trudeau batted away questions about the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal saying he wasn't at the negotiating table

Ministers of the 11 original signatories to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have agreed on "core elements" of a new trade pact to be implemented without the United States.

However, the leaders' meeting, scheduled for Friday afternoon, failed to take place as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not show up at the venue of the meeting after holding talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"As for TPP 11, a broad agreement has been reached at a ministerial meeting yesterday".

Before Trudeau's no-show at the leaders' meeting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand had made good progress on contentious investor-state disputes resolution clauses and preserving market access.

Viet Nam's Industry and Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh (left) and Japanese economic revitalisation minister Toshimitsu Motegi, co-chair Saturday's press conference.

The deal, which would have covered 40 percent of the global economy, was thrown into disarray when Donald Trump withdrew the U.S.in one of his first acts as president due to a perceived risk to American jobs, leaving other countries scrambling to keep the deal alive. Detractors of the TPP say it favors corporate interests over labor and other rights.

"The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership will be included in the Amendment No.1 of the leaders' joint statement and consists of seven articles", he said.

Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd chief economist Alan Tan Chew Leong said in the short term, the impact from the new TPP may not be as positive without the US.

"My most important responsibility is to make sure that is the right deal for Canada and Canadians", Trudeau told the media in Da Nang.

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.

"It must do it all it can to get the agreement over the line" Mr English says.

An agreement to push forward TPP would have been a boost for the principle of multilateral trade deals as opposed to the Trump approach.

"We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore", Trump said.

APEC operates by consensus and customarily issues nonbinding statements.

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.

After a day of confusion, a much-anticipated framework agreement on a Pacific trade deal was at risk of being scuppered, raising the prospect the pact-already many years in the making-could be delayed further. Danang, Vietnam's third largest city, is in the midst of a construction boom as dozens of resorts and smaller hotels pop up along its scenic coastline.

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