’TPP 11’ make show of unity, but members remain far apart

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Nikkei | 22 May 2017

’TPP 11’ make show of unity, but members remain far apart

by RYOHEI YASOSHIMA and JUN YAMAZAKI

HANOI — The remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership showed some level of unity in a statement Sunday, but the outlook for a "TPP 11" version of the trade pact after the U.S. ditched the deal looks hazy amid gaps on some issues.

Ministers of the 11 countries met in Vietnam amid an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, compiling a statement that emphasized the expected economic benefits of the 12-nation pact reached in October 2015. The 11 countries look to conclude talks by November on an alternative arrangement without the U.S. to implement the agreement quickly, the statement said.

The 12-nation pact requires ratification by at least six members accounting for 85% of the aggregate gross domestic product. The absence of either Japan or the U.S. — the two biggest economies in the deal — would require a fresh agreement.

The 11 countries’ commitment has been confirmed, Nobuteru Ishihara, Japan’s economic and fiscal policy minister, told reporters in Hanoi after the meeting. He also revealed that chief negotiators will meet in Japan in July, adding that Tokyo would serve as a bridge to lure back Washington — though the U.S. is unlikely to return easily.

Washington is not revising its position on leaving the TPP, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said at a joint news conference after the APEC trade minister meeting. He highlighted an emphasis on bilateral free trade agreements, noting that the U.S. would not mind having one-to-one talks.

Japan seeks to maintain the outline of the 12-nation agreement, enacting it with the 11 members. New Zealand and Australia are clearly on board. But Canada and Mexico have been muted in their reaction, perhaps out of caution that stating their stance could affect the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Asian countries such as Vietnam, which had agreed to revamp regulations in exchange for a more open American market, may demand revisions to the deal. Malaysia continues observing quietly. Chile and Peru also have been ambivalent.

Sunday’s statement still cited efforts to bring the U.S. back on board, along with opening the door to other countries that share the ideals of the pact.

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source: Nikkei

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  • ’TPP 11’ make show of unity, but members remain far apart23-May-2017 | jennifer feij

    I cannot help but feel delighted that these big trading agreements are loosing their grip on members. Looking at the big picture its astonishing that food, goods and services should travel around the world. Include the costs of organizing all this for each different globe agreement, the running of them, the infra-structures (office space) and salaries, travel and expenses... and we have fast sums of money which could be used to simply help those poorer countries develop more efficiently their autonomy and care for their own people.

    The time has come where economists are not anymore the big masters of reason, analysis and for forecasting and Setting the future course. We ask ourselves now "who are these people"? These people that promise stability and riches if we listen to them.

    After years of shrinking middle classes, austerity programs, war and economic immigration, It is time to think smaller to understand the big picture. It’s about people, not business. Not corporate health but more for the health of our Earth. Thinking of regions, locals and their balance and contribution to a country. People proud to produce locally, trade together simply like in the past, without great books of rules and regulations onn what we can, or not produce, in what manner, size, color preference, and paying the contributions to be part of an entity’s that suits the big world players get richer. The promises of a trickle down society have exploded in our faces. It’s time to pick up the pieces and get back to our senses, community, regional and country senses.

    We need politicians who work for this concept. Not the puppets of the corporate trading and finance world.

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