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Thursday, January 25, 2018

New Zealand and 10 other nations sign trade deal

Jacinda Ardern and Trade Minister David Parker
It's a new version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that looked endangered when US President Trump flounced away from the table.

But now a swept-up version has been agreed.  And the US is not part of the deal.

After two days of talks in Tokyo, the 11 nations have ironed out the four unresolved issues that remained after negotiations last November.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week about preserving the cultural heritage of each country.

The TPP is now  CPTPP -- the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has rather a nice ring about it.

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

New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker confirmed that the deal will be signed in Chile on March 8.  And, further, as he observed --

"The CPTPP will provide New Zealand exporters with preferential access for the first time into Japan, the world's third largest economy and our fifth-largest export market

"The CPTPP is even more important to signatory countries given current threats to the effectiveness of the [World Trade Organization] and rising protectionism in many parts of the world."

The sticking points were Canadian protection its cultural industries, and labour protections in Vietnam. There was also a controversial Investor State Dispute set of clauses, which gave industries freedom to sue governments over contract decisions.  These have been removed.

The deal will come into effect after it has been ratified by at least six of the eleven countries.

A huge accomplishment for our new Prime Minister.

Read more.

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