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Story of the Week

Still Some Life in the TPP Yet

The remaining 11 countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (The TPP) including Australia, launched their first fully fledged post US departure negotiations this week in Canada – what they are calling TPP 11. While Canada hosted the talks, Japan, which now accounts for nearly half the total gross domestic product of all remaining 11 members, is well positioned to play a lead role in what will need to be a consensus approach with no changes anticipated to the agreement previously agreed. While Ministers didn’t attend, the outcome is expected to set the stage for an upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam later this year. 

In another twist the Mexican Economy Minister has suggested that despite the US pulling out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, they should use the agreements in the aborted TPP to create a manufacturing powerhouse between the US, Mexico and Canada to compete with the low cost producers in China. As a reflection of the costs involved in seeking these types of trade agreements, Australia reportedly invested over $7.2 million in travel and accommodation costs alone in sending government officials to TPP meetings over 7 years to negotiate the original agreement.

(Tuesday 25 April 2017)

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