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Australia signs TPP-11 trade deal

10 March 2018

New Zealand and 10 other nations have signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

The agreement, also known as TPP 11, was finalised after Mr Trump pulled his country out of the original TPP deal shortly after he became president in January a year ago.

The deal came as US 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.

Although Washington's withdrawal may have eliminated the U.S. pork roadblock, there has been speculation that with Tokyo now at the helm of the deal, Taipei's import ban on Japanese food products from five prefectures near the site of the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster could impede the nation's membership bid. The ROK has reached bilateral trade agreements with nine of the 11 member states of the CPTPP. "However, we know these tariffs will be catastrophic for the USA economy and jobs", the United States Fashion Industry Association said in a statement following the tariff announcement Thursday.

"The signing of the CPTPP is a concrete demonstration of the signatories' commitment to the collective goals of greater trade liberalisation, regional economic integration, and better opportunities for our people", said Mr Lim.

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"Little by little, his advisors have managed to make Trump realize the role that the United States plays in Asia Pacific and the role played by the TPP in that region, not only in economic and trade terms, but in geopolitical terms", said Bartesaghi.

Without the US which was taken out of the deal by President Donald Trump, the new pact will cover just 13% of global GDP, but still include around 500 million people.

America is a notable absentee after President Donald Trump withdrew from the process - this has raised fears that medical products may become dangerously expensive given the advantage TPP potentially offers to United States pharma companies.

With the United States, it would have represented 40 per cent.

"Last year Australia exported around $12b worth of agricultural goods to the TPP-11 countries, so this is a real game changer with huge potential".

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But Ghahraman says it's disappointing the side letters are with "relatively small nations" while the likes of Japan and Chile are "still free to sue our government for access".

Many have criticized this trade agreement.

The revamped TPP also includes Brunei, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

A further two countries, Canada and Chile, have joined New Zealand in a declaration that they will use investor-state dispute settlement responsibly.

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Australia signs TPP-11 trade deal