Australia on verge of Pacific trade deal

Henrietta Brewer
November 10, 2017

Abe said Thursday that Japan is leading the effort among the remaining 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership to revise the initiative during talks on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam. Champagne said Canadians expect any agreement to benefit the middle class and "give a chance to the small and medium-sized business to join the global trade".

This marked an important milestone in the bilateral ties, serving as a driving force to promptly step up their friendship and extensive and productive cooperation at a time when the two countries have increasingly been sharing interests bilaterally, regionally and globally, they said.

The logic for a deal remains compelling, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said November 4. With the United States, the Pacific Rim trade pact covered around 40 percent of the global economy.

The 11 remaining TPP economies, including Canada, have been trying to salvage the deal after U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out earlier this year.

The 11 TPP countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

"Like any deal it's not done until it's done and there's still work to be completed, but we are very close and with a final nudge over the next day I hope we will get there", Ciobo added.

There have been speculations about a TPP announcement since the beginning of the APEC summit on Monday.

The TPP was seen as a hallmark of US engagement with Asia under the prior administration and a buffer against China's rising clout.

"We've got to go hard on those Asian relationships", said Barton, who led McKinsey operations in Asia and South Korea for almost a decade.

It's understood Canada, the second largest economy in the TPP since the United States withdrew, had been in bilateral talks with Japan on role difference before Trudeau's no show at the meeting.

"Culture is more than just an economic good", he said.

Trudeau told reporters the agreement would also help advance the countries' ongoing dialogue on human rights.

A senior government official has said Canadian negotiators are seeking changes to the original TPP in several areas, such as its intellectual-property provisions, cultural exemptions and its impact on Canada's supply management system for dairy, poultry and eggs.

He said that over the past two decades, Canada has always been among the top suppliers of official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam, and asked the country to continue the supply of capital, especially for poverty reduction, climate change response, agriculture and sustainable growth, and support for Vietnam's access to preferential loans after 2017.

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