Eleven nations signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in Chile today, which will set up one of the world’s largest free trade areas by 2019.
Negotiations of the trade deal between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam moved along quickly since first introduced last November. These governments agreed on its content Jan. 23 and by Feb. 21 its 30 chapters were released to the public.
Chilean foreign minister Heraldo Munoz said the CPTPP is a move toward “open world trade (and away from) protectionist pressures … without the threat of trade wars," likely making reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s signing today a 10 percent tariff increase on aluminum and a 25 percent increase for steel products.
Once the CPTPP is implemented these nations, representing 27 percent of global trade, will enjoy reduced or eliminated tariff fees on their combined US$10.2 trillion gross domestic product (GDP).
The signed pact was a revised version of the 2016 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement that once included the United States until protectionist president Trump removed the nation and its 23 percent share of global trade.
Yet not all citizens within member countries are pleased about the now-signed agreement.
Chantelle Campbell of the Auckland TPP Action Group said, "The Government needs to wake up and be truthful about what the TPP will mean for New Zealand. … New Zealand is being sold out, leaving a nightmare for our future generations to deal with."
Earlier this week the People’s Democratic Movement party of Chile said via Twitter that the new deal will infringe on the country’s sovereignty and give disproportionate power to multinational corporations allowing them to sue individual member states in international courts.
Canada’s CPTPP delegates will head next to Paraguay in order to begin trade talks with the Mercosur nations - Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay - which comprise the second largest economic trade bloc after the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) members -Canada, Mexico, and the United States.
There’s already talk that Britain, Thailand, Colombia, South Korea and Indonesia are considering joining the CPTPP group to liberalize their own trade.