Globalist countries descended on Japan during the last week of January to finalise new provisions on a trade agreement that was rejected by United States Donald Trump. The member nations of the new trade agreement view the pact as their position to push back against protectionist trade policies.
Once the provisions have been agreed upon by the Pacific Rim group, it would clear the way for the signing of a new Trans-Pacific Partnership deal sometime in March. The Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP was supposedly the defining moment in the Obama administration’s policies on foreign trade. It was designed to ensure American influence would be felt in how trade rules are set in the new century.
The 11 remaining TPP member countries include Japan, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The group decided to change the name of the trade pact from TPP to CPTPP or Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.
During the World Economic Forum global summit at Switzerland, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the congregation that the CPTPP represented the Asia- Pacific region’s aggressive push versus protectionism:
“If we are going to push back against the anti-trade tendency in globalisation that will all leave us all worse off, we have to put the concerns and the well-being of our ordinary citizens at the center of what we are negotiating, and that is what 11 of us have been able to do with the CPTPP.”
Trudeau also shared that the group is open to having more countries participate in their trade deals as long as the agreements are for the benefit of the citizens. Canada has lobbied for additional changes to be introduced in the new trade pact.
Reports allege that nearly 70% of the changes sought by the United States in the original TPP were set aside after Trump pulled the US away from the agreement. Among the issues that remain subject for discussion are labour rights and terms for state-owned companies.
Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia, hailed the CPTPP as it would generate billions of dollars in export earnings and open up thousands of opportunities for new jobs:
“We stuck with it. And with great support and great leadership with the countries in the TPP 11, especially of course, Japan, we look forward to the legal documents, the treaty being signed in Chile.”
Despite the optimistic outlook shared by member-nations, the fact remains that the group will lack the power of the United States’ $12 trillion consumer market. The 11 nations comprise 14 percent of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was significantly reduced by 40% when the US pulled out of the TPP.
The aim of CPTPP is to create a free trade zone that may eventually rival the European Union in size and scope.