Canada's Trudeau says still more work to be done on TPP

13 November, 2017, 02:40 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has touched down in Vietnam ahead of a TPP ministers meeting

Ministerial talks on a communique for the APEC leaders were extended into a second day on Thursday in the face of US demands for changes to the language used concerning issues such as free trade and protectionism, officials at the talks said.

"It would be fair to say that there is still a little bit of clarification required around where those talks have finally landed", Ms Ardern told reporters in Vietnam on Saturday.

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 and was in no hurry.

But like the initial TPP including the US, the new trade pact does not necessarily need their blessing for an official agreement, requiring only that the ministers sign off.

In the meanwhile, Canada was accused of stalling.

It was a stark change in tone from Thursday, when Trump was Xi's guest of honor during a state visit in Beijing.

But some countries, including Malaysia and Vietnam, sought to opt out of such provisions during the talks, something Canada felt was untenable.

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"This is not the first time the TPP has faced some challenges", the Trade Minister said.

But this time, the Canadian prime minister had a somewhat atypical agenda for his face-to-face chat with the Mexican president. He lambasted the World Trade Organization and other trade forums as unfair to the United States and reiterated his preference for bilateral trade deals, saying "I am always going to put America first".

Behind the scenes, White House officials quietly negotiated with the Kremlin over whether Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin would hold a formal meeting on the sidelines in Danang, with the Russians raising expectations for such a session.

Earlier, Mr Trump effectively slammed the door shut on any hope of America rejoining the TPP negotiations during his address to the APEC summit.

"But we can't control the decisions of other countries".

"What we have achieved today is identifying the areas where work needs to be done", Champagne said.

USA officials sought to downplay the significance of the development, saying it's just one small step when China needs to fundamentally remake its approach to letting foreign investment onto its shores.

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Ardern says negotiations are still continuing over aspects of the Comprehensive Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP as it is now known, but there was a "stabilised text" which could be worked on.

"That's just the prudent sensible answer to the question about whether or not you support any given trade deal", Mr Marles told Sky News on Sunday.

The 11 countries involved in the have reportedly agreed to core elements of a deal, while several provisions contained in the pact still need to be ironed out.

Vietnam's export sector has blossomed as Chinese and other manufacturers of T-shirts, pants, and other cheap clothing and shoes moved their factories to Southeast Asia to take advantage of the region's lower wages and anticipated tariff cuts under the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Volpe said Canada's insistence on changing rules around autos is in the country's best interest.

How could Asia become more self-sufficient economically, or is the U.S.an indispensable partner?

Among the most sensitive for Canada is understood to be protection for automobile production, while Viet Nam has been resistant to the pact's insistence on minimum standards for labour and environmental practices.

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Motegi noted that since the U.S. announced its withdrawal in January this year, the TPP ministers have held many meetings in March, May, July, August and September before gathering in Da Nang.

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