Pacific Trade Pact Faces Political Scrutiny After Signing

'There's a need for some revision' - plenty of work required before new TPP comes into force, PM says

Out of 1,000 terms under initial deal, member countries suspended around 20 provisions, especially related to intellectual property protections lobbied by the U.S. But import tariffs will fall for all goods traded among members with more than 90% being eliminated immediately when ratified.

"The CPTPP will establish a new standard for other regional economic integration agreements, and even for future negotiations in the WTO (World Trade Organization) and in APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation)", said Chile's foreign ministry.

Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary, said he had held discussions about the prospect of rekindling American membership in the pact, though at a congressional hearing in February, he said it was not a priority.

"We are proud to have completed this process, sending a strong message to the worldwide community that opening markets, economic integration and global cooperation are the best tools to create economic opportunity and prosperity", said Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

At a press conference held after the signing ceremony, Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz affirmed that the parties in the CP TPP hoped the pact will bring economic growth to every nation. With the US, the agreement would have covered 40 percent of the world economy.

The agreement, also known as TPP 11, was finalised after Mr Trump pulled his country out of the original TPP deal shortly after he became president in January a year ago.

"Of that, 997 firms are within CPTPP markets, with 200 based in Malaysia", the group said in a statement today.

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In the past year, Canada and Japan led the remaining 11 countries involved in the TPP to a revised agreement in January.

However, the revised agreement dropped about 20 of the original provisions (mostly those insisted on by the US), suggesting a USA re-entry would require some intense negotiation. Governments and activists of other member nations worry the changes will raise the costs of medicine.

The pact that covers 500 million people includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which together account for 13 percent of the global economy.

"It's great to see growing worldwide acknowledgement and understanding that we need trade that works for everyone", Mr Parker says. However, New Zealand's trade minister said that was unlikely in the near term, while Japan has said altering the agreement now would be very hard.

However, PIIE said that Malaysia will be the biggest victor from CPTPP, as the deal will provide export access into new markets including Canada, Peru and Mexico benefiting palm oil, rubber and electronics exporters.

The revised pact keeps most of the provisions, including tariff reductions, agreed in 2016 when USA was still a member.

"Work is ongoing to establish technical market access for Australian beef exports to Peru to take advantage of market access outcomes from both the TPP-11 and the Peru-Australia Free Trade Agreement". Champagne told Reuters that Canada would not accept duties or quotas from the United States.

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