Executive Briefings

Asia-Pacific Nations Signed Sweeping Trade Deal Without U.S.

Eleven countries including Japan and Canada signed a landmark Asia-Pacific trade agreement without the United States on Thursday in what one minister called a powerful signal against protectionism and trade wars.

The deal came as U.S. President Donald Trump vowed earlier in the day to press ahead with a plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that other nations and the International Monetary Fund said could start a global trade war.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will reduce tariffs in countries that together amount to more than 13 percent of the global economy — a total of $10tr in gross domestic product. With the United States, it would have represented 40 percent.

“Today, we can proudly conclude this process, sending a strong message to the international community that open markets, economic integration and international cooperation are the best tools for creating economic opportunities and prosperity,” said Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

Heraldo Munoz, Chile’s minister of foreign affairs, said he expected Chile’s trade with China, its top trading partner, to continue growing alongside trade with CPTPP countries.

Even without the United States, the deal will span a market of nearly 500 million people, making it one of the world’s largest trade agreements, according to Chilean and Canadian trade statistics.

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The deal came as U.S. President Donald Trump vowed earlier in the day to press ahead with a plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that other nations and the International Monetary Fund said could start a global trade war.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will reduce tariffs in countries that together amount to more than 13 percent of the global economy — a total of $10tr in gross domestic product. With the United States, it would have represented 40 percent.

“Today, we can proudly conclude this process, sending a strong message to the international community that open markets, economic integration and international cooperation are the best tools for creating economic opportunities and prosperity,” said Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

Heraldo Munoz, Chile’s minister of foreign affairs, said he expected Chile’s trade with China, its top trading partner, to continue growing alongside trade with CPTPP countries.

Even without the United States, the deal will span a market of nearly 500 million people, making it one of the world’s largest trade agreements, according to Chilean and Canadian trade statistics.

Read full article