'TPP 11' trade pact official agreement still up in the air

Canada won't be rushed into TPP, prime minister says
Vietnamese, Canadian PMs co-chair press conference

11 November, 2017

Moving ahead with TPP would be a boost for the principle of multilateral trade agreements after U.S. President Donald Trump ditched it this year in favor of an "America First" policy that he reiterated at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam.

Speaking separately, a Canadian official said the nations had "agreed to a framework towards the deal" with work programs to handle various outstanding issues.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc made the statement when co-chairing a press conference with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau after their talks in Hanoi on November 8.

Champagne, who blamed "a misunderstanding about the schedule" for Trudeau's absence, specifically mentioned the auto sector and cultural protection as areas needing more work. But chief negotiators were continuing to hash out the details late into the night in the Vietnamese beach resort of Da Nang with ministers from leading countries offering conflicting assessments of their progress, the Financial Times reports.

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It did not say when that might happen.

But after Trudeau failed to turn up, Ardern told reporters that talks had been postponed, and that she didn't know when they would reconvene.

It is understood Canada, the second largest economy in the TPP since the United States withdrew, had been in bilateral talks with Japan on role difference before Trudeau's no-show at the meeting. Adding to the confusion, she said she was under the impression Canada had withdrawn from negotiations.

The free trade agreement with many stipulations covering trade and non-trade issues was officially inked on February 4, 2016, among 12 countries, namely the United States, Canada, Mexico and Peru, as well as Chile, New Zealand, Australia and Japan, along with Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and Việt Nam.

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