Asia-Pacific countries sign trade deal without U.S.

Asia-Pacific countries sign trade deal without U.S.

Eleven countries including Japan, Australia, and Canada signed a trade agreement Thursday known as The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) [text, pdf]. The deal will span a market of nearly 500 million people, making it one of the world’s largest trade agreements.

The CPTPP serves as an update to the Trans-Pacific Partnership [text], the 12-member original agreement which President Trump withdrew from a few days into his presidency last year.

CPTPP countries include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Provisions include goods market access, such as agriculture, fish and seafood, forest products, and industrial goods, automotive and auto parts, access to financial services and investment, as well as biotech and labor rights, and environmental protection provisions.

The revised agreement eliminates some requirements the U.S. had negotiated, such as intellectual property protection for pharmaceutical companies.

This sweeping trade deal comes the same day that President Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on aluminum and steel imports [JURIST report].