Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement signed without the U.S.

Worldwide
Published:  12 March, 2018

The agreement, formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), was signed by eleven countries in Santiago, Chile, on March 8.

In the absence of the U.S., the trade agreement signed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam has been renamed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). It aims to reduce trade tariffs between member countries that together amount to over 13% of the global economy; a total of US$10 trillion in gross domestic product.

The CTPP includes commitments to enforce minimum labour and environmental standards, and a controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism, which allows companies to sue governments when they believe a change in law has affected their profits.

The Asian nations are expected to benefit the most from the agreement, with Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam each boosting their economy by more than 2% to their economy by 2030, while New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Australia are to grow by an additional 1% or less. The U.S., which retracted from the TPP shortly after Donald Trump was elected President, could lose around US$2 billion as firms in member countries have an incentive to trade with each other instead of with U.S. companies.

If the U.S. had signed the deal, it would have represented 40% of the global economy. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia's Prime Minister, said the deal has been designed to allow new members in future.

Sources: BBC/Canadian Cattlemen