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Pacific trade pact aims to boost exports

Pacific trade pact aims to boost exports

"A quarter of our exports go to the countries of the TPP 11, including Japan, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, and others".

Abe has painted the deal as a spur to growth and reform in Japan and a symbol of commitment to free and multilateral trade at a time when Trump stresses "America First" policies.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada and the remaining 11 countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have agreed to a revised trade agreement.

The U.S. pulled out of the deal a year ago, with the remaining 11 members expected to sign the agreement by early March.

Australia's opposition Labor party said the new pact had lost its shine since the USA withdrawal and the government had failed to specify how the country would benefit from it.

"I think the TPP has become a symbol of open markets, against the Trump unilateralism, but if you actually look at what is in the TPP it does reinforce monopolies which are the opposite of open markets", she said.

But a major labour union and a group representing auto parts manufacturers said the deal would cause job losses.

Talks had previously stalled over issues such as intellectual property rights and Canada's insistence on protection for its cultural industries. Investor-state dispute mechanisms allow corporations to challenge environmental regulations and could put a chill on governments trying to fight climate change.

Following agreement in the Tokyo talks, Lawrence MacAulay, Canada's minister of agriculture and agri-food and François-Philippe Champagne, its minister of worldwide trade, said in a joint statement: "Reaching this milestone on the CPTPP is great news for Canadian farmers and food processors as it will help grow the Canadian economy, including the middle class, and deliver prosperity to rural communities across the country".

And in Vietnam, a deal was expected to be reached but Trudeau shied away at the last minute.

It appears that the auto sector provisions run contrary to the American protectionist position of higher tariffs and less foreign product and that could make the NAFTA auto sector talks more problematic.

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