Australia signs on to trade deal in Chile

Australia signs on to trade deal in Chile

"The TPP-11 creates Australia's first free trade agreements with Canada and Mexico, giving Australian exporters preferential access to two of the world's top 20 economies for the first time".

The CPTPP deal was signed just before Trump slapped steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, setting up what many allies both at home and overseas warn could escalate into a global trade war.

Eleven countries signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP) on March 8 that will reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers on more than 13% of world trade - shortly before the United States, which withdrew from the agreement previous year, announced the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The revised agreement eliminates some requirements of the original TPP demanded by USA negotiators, including rules to ramp up intellectual property protection of pharmaceuticals.

Japanese economy minister Toshimitsu Motegi said after the signing of the deal: "Despite the diverse and hard challenges, the CPTPP is a historic achievement that creates free and fair 21st century rules in the Asia-Pacific region".

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The 11 remaining countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have signed their revised version of the multilateral trade pact without the U.S., reviving a deal set to slash tariffs and foster trade in a marketplace worth close to around US$13.5trn.

The U.S., originally the biggest TPP economy, was one of the trade deal's strongest supporters before Trump took office.

According to local media, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on February 27 at an investment summit that the US president will consider a renegotiated CPTPP trade deal and that the United States has begun having high-level talks on the deal.

In Chile, the worlds largest ever regional trade agreement, TPP-11, has been signed by Australia yesterday, allowing Australian producers to have new and better access to global markets. "It is now a trade bloc that discriminates against the U.S".

Chile's Foreign Affairs Minister Heraldo Muñoz said the signing of the pact is "extremely timely" in the face of "protectionist pressures and pressures that could end up in what nobody wants, which is a trade war".

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The move will result in significant export costs for European industry.

The original TPP was conceived by the U.S.as a counterweight to China's growing economic influence through a robust trading bloc that excluded the Asian giant. "It becomes a modest liberalization measure". Although the U.S. pulled out a year ago, the deal was salvaged by the remaining members, who signed it at a ceremony in the Chilean city of Santiago.

"China did not participate in the CPTPP Agreement".

The deal had been on life support after the United States' withdrawal but was resuscitated in January following lobbying from Japan and Australia. It opens more markets to free trade in agricultural products and digital services around the region.

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