Saturday, 24 March 2018, 08:59:19 pm
11 countries sign trade deal in Chile
March 10, 2018

Ministers from 11 countries gathered in Chile's capital on Thursday to sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The pact is also known as the TPP 11, since it evolved from the initial 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that fell apart after the United States withdrew from it in January 2017.

At the signing ceremony, Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz praised the agreement as a tool for promoting free trade and economic integration.

"We are going to send a clear message to ... the rest of the world, with clear signs of commitment to the liberalization of trade, regional integration, and the creation of jobs and development ... " said Munoz.

Ministers from the other 10 signatory states were also present, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The CPTPP reaffirms these countries' opposition to protectionism and support for the free flow of goods, services and investment toward global growth, Munoz said.

The United States was one of the proponents of the TPP under former President Barack Obama, but his successor Donald Trump pulled the country out of the treaty when he took office as part of a push to put in place more protectionist measures to bolster domestic manufacturing and production.

The CPTPP preserves the core of the TPP, but suspends some 20 provisions, many having to do with controversial intellectual property rights.