Landmark Pacific Rim trade deal signed

09:05 | 31/03/2018 Cooperation

(VEN) - On March 9, top representatives of 11 Asia-Pacific nations signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) agreement in Santiago, Chile.

landmark pacific rim trade deal signed
Leaders of 11 Asia-Pacific nations signed the CPTPP in Sangiago, Chile

The CPTPP is a new-generation free trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The CPTPP will create one of the world’s largest free trade blocs with a market serving about 499 million consumers and gross domestic product (GDP) of US$10.1 trillion, accounting for 13.5 percent of global GDP.

The trade deal was formerly named the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with the United States one of its members. After President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal in early 2017, negotiations among the remaining states appeared stalled at times. However, strenuous efforts by member countries, especially Japan, Mexico and Vietnam, managed to breathe new life into the TPP, which was renamed CPTPP.

As the host of APEC 2017, the annual activities of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, Vietnam significantly contributed to the completion of CPTPP negotiations and the finalization of the trade deal’s content.

The CPTPP encompasses the content of the TPP but postpones the enforcement of 22 provisions pertaining to intellectual property in order to ensure balanced interests for its 11 member countries in the new context.

The CPTPP not only addresses traditional areas, such as the removal of tariffs and technical barriers to trade in goods and the opening up of service markets or safeguarding intellectual property, but also deals with new, non-traditional issues, such as labor, environment, government purchases and state-owned enterprises. The agreement also stipulates requirements and high standards on transparency, as well as outlining a dispute resolution mechanism.

CPTPP member nations agreed to reduce almost all import taxes to zero percent under specific roadmaps and to liberalize services and investment based on respect of each other’s laws, thus creating new opportunities for businesses and new benefits for consumers, including those in Vietnam.

When the signing of the CPTPP was officially announced, leaders of countries such as Thailand and the Republic of Korea said they would consider their participation in the trade deal. Speculation has it that the US would also reconsider its position and join the treaty.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh affirmed the CPTPP would have positive impacts on the Vietnamese economy in a relatively comprehensive range of fields.

Following its signing, the CPTPP must be ratified by at least six among the 11 member nations before it officially takes effect. The agreement is expected to come into force in late 2018 or the first half of 2019.

Thu Hang