Pacific trade pact to be signed in Chile

Meltzer said the United States' ability to shape the rules of trade in the Asia-Pacific region "is very much diminished". The new version, which goes by CPTPP or TPP-11 for short, also suspends some two dozen provisions that the USA had fought for but that the other countries had been reluctant to include. As its preamble makes clear, virtually all of the original provisions of the TPP "are incorporated, by reference, into and made part of this Agreement". The U.K., Taiwan, South Korea and Indonesia are among those that have shown interest in participating. The remaining members of the CPTPP, by contrast, represent a combined population of almost 500 million people and more than 13 percent of global trade.

According to Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz, 'the most important, big and high-standard free trade agreement signed worldwide (.) can give a signal when there are countries that want to close their borders and impose protectionist measures'.

The 11 states combine for 13.5% of the world's economic output, or some USD10 trillion.

The Labour Party, which rejected the previous TPP deal, has trumpeted the revised agreement as an improvement. "And there are threats to those worldwide trading regimes".

Then, thousands marched around the country in opposition.

Washington's absence leaves an open path for China - which remains excluded from the deal - as it negotiates separately with Asian countries and New Zealand.

MUD Expels Henri Falcon, Ex-Chavista Challenger to Venezuela's Maduro
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro gestures as he talks to the media during a news conference in Caracas , Venezuela, Feb. 15, 2018.

An economic analysis released by the Canadian government in February said the pact would provide exporters with tariff savings of $428 million per year.

The Council of Canadians is anxious, however, that with Mercosur, the Liberal government is again rushing into another corporate agreement, without a debate on the needs and wishes of the public, Dey said.

The CPTPP agreement leaves the door open for the USA to rejoin the club, a step Mr Trump in January hinted he would be open to if the United States could get a "substantially better deal". "We welcome it becoming positive toward the TPP".

Dozens of people protested on Wednesday in Chile where the signing of the new Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) will take place in the country's capital. The move, plus his administration's recent push to renegotiate NAFTA, portends ill for any hopes that Trump will reconsider his skepticism of free trade agreements.

Today, eleven foreign ministers will sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) set to slash tariffs among member nations by 2019.

Former president Barack Obama's administration pushed for the TPP as a counterweight to growing Chinese commercial power.

  • Sonia Alvarado