TPP goes ahead as CPTPP without US
(9 March 2018 – Australia) Steven Ciobo joined trade ministers from 10 Pacific Rim countries in Chile to sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), previously known as the TPP.
The free trade agreement covers 500 million people and was signed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, which together account for 13 percent of the global economy.
President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership last year, causing many to assume the agreement would not go ahead however the remaining 11 members forged ahead saying they were showing resolve against protectionism through global trade.
The CPTPP is “a strong sign against the protectionist pressures, and in favour of a world open to free trade, without unilateral sanctions and the threat of trade wars,” Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz said.
The US tabled the idea of the original TPP as a measure against China’s growing economic influence through a strong trading bloc that excluded the Asian country. The idea was that in an effort to qualify for TPP membership China would have an incentive to open its market and liberalise its policies.