Apparently a revised Trans-Pacific Partnership between Australia and 10 other countries will be signed soon. The 11 countries are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam.

This is what the Trade Minister: Steven Ciobo indicated in an interview with the ABC’s Fran Kelly (see transcript on Minister’s site). He said: “Well as they say it’s never a done deal until everyone’s ink’s drying and we’ve had the ratification process. But Fran, let’s be clear, we have the agreement of officials from all eleven countries.”

ABC News reports:

The Minister said new deal would “eliminate more than 98 per cent of tariffs in a free-trade zone, with a combined GDP of $13.7 trillion”.

Trade ministers will attend a signing ceremony in Chile in March.

Apparently, the deal will include:

  • The abolition of all tariffs on seafood, wine, sheep meat, cotton wool and manufactured goods across the region
  • New bilateral trade deals for Australia with Canada and Mexico
  • Japan speeding up the reduction of import barriers for Australian beef imports
  • Japan eliminating several tariffs on Australian cheese imports
  • Improved conditions for Australian service exports within the region — such exports were worth more than $18 billion last financial year

The TPP was going to include the United States before Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement in one of his first acts as President.

The new deal is known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) or, more colloquially: ‘TPP 11’ (eleven, for the 11 companies that will be involved).

“The agreement will deliver 18 new free trade agreements between the CPTPP parties,” Mr Ciobo said.

“For Australia that means new trade agreements with Canada and Mexico and greater market access to Japan, Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei.”

Reuters also reported on this.

Mr Ciobo was also planning to meet EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos to progress an Australia-EU FTA. On the same theme, he also planned to meet officials from France, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

[FJM; LTN 16, 24/1/18; Tax Month January 2018]

Study questions (answers below*)

  1. After Canada walked out of the last session in Da Nang, are they back in the deal?
  2. Will it create a 100% free trade zone?
  3. Will tariffs be eliminated, across the region on seafood, wine, sheep meat, cotton wool and manufactured goods?
  4. Is the rate at which Japan is reducing its tariffs on Australian beef going to remain the same?
  5. Will the deal be known, colloquially as TPP 12?

 

 

*[answers:1.yes;2.no(98%);3.yes;4.no(SpeededUp);5.no(11for11countries)]

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