TPP countries agree to keep trade deal alive, much work remains

TPP countries agree to keep trade deal alive, much work remains

Ministers from Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries reached agreement in talks on the trade deal on Thursday, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said, although ministers from several other countries declined to comment.

Before Trudeau's no-show at the leaders' meeting, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand had made good progress on contentious investor-state disputes resolution clauses and preserving market access.

"The leaders will discuss general contents for TPP co-operation, including the TPP Ministerial Meeting report, which features contents of the commitment package", Anh said, referring to the meeting of leaders of the 11 TPP countries expected to take place the same day.

"Our ministers are very much engaged and working hard on this issue of TPP 11".

The final statement said a "limited set of provisions" from the original deal would be suspended, adding further technical work was needed on four areas that still needed consensus "to prepare finalised text for signature".

A Canadian official said: "We've agreed to a framework towards the deal, with work programmes to deal with issues".

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Canada, which has the second biggest economy among remaining TPP countries after Japan, had said it wanted to ensure an agreement that would protect jobs.

Talks to revive the free trade deal appeared to have collapsed on Friday night when Trudeau failed to show up to a leaders' meeting, but Champagne blamed his absence on "a misunderstanding about the schedule".

PM Phuc affirmed that the new agreement on bilateral relations will open a new chapter in socio-economic, cultural, defence and security cooperation in the spirit of comprehensive partnership.

The challenge for Canada and Mexico is that both TPP nations are also in the middle of renegotiating the North American free-trade agreement with the Americans, meaning that numerous same issues are in play at the two separate negotiating tables.

Talks between trade and foreign ministers from the group failed to reach agreement on their usual joint statement in the face of US demands to remove language about supporting free trade and fighting protectionism.

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