CPTPP countries to start accession talks for new members in 2019
Updated : Friday, July 20, 2018 10:56 AM (GMT+0700)

Chief negotiators from the 11signatories of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-PacificPartnership (CPTPP) agreed on July 19 to start accession talks with potentialnewcomers in 2019, after the trade pact takes effect.

Chief negotiators from the 11 signatories of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement
for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) - Source: Kyodo

Theconsensus was reached at a meeting in the hot-spring resort of Hakone, Japan’sKanagawa prefecture, on July 18-19, which took place amidst growing concernsabout the trade war and rise of protectionism.

Thenegotiators checked each member’s progress towards completing domesticprocedures to ratify the trade deal and discussed the future expansion of theCPTPP membership.

Thepact will take effect 60 days after at least six countries have completed theirdomestic procedures. Japan, Mexico, and Singapore have already ended theirratification processes, with three more – namely Australia, New Zealand, andVietnam – likely to follow suit by the end of the year.

Thailand,Indonesia, Colombia, the Republic of Korea, and Taiwan (China) have allexpressed interest in joining the CPTPP.

Inaddition, Britain has also shown interest, with Trade Minister Liam Fox sayingon July 18 that the country will broach the issue with the public.

OnJuly 19, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga hailed the UK’sinterest, adding that Japan is ready to share any pertinent information.

However,new members interested in joining will likely be required to accept what havealready been negotiated by the existing 11 members, for example intellectualproperty.

Theoriginal Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was signed by 12 countries in February2016 but US President Donald Trump pulled his country from the deal upon hisinauguration in January 2017.

Theremaining 11 countries – namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan,Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam – signed the pactand renamed it the CPTPP in March 2018 in Chile.

Thepact is expected to boost economic growth, create more jobs, reduce poverty,and improve the quality of life for people in member countries.

Itwill create one of the world’s largest free trade blocs with a combined marketof 499 million people and a GDP of around 10.1 trillion USD, accounting for13.5 percent of the global GDP.

Source: VNA

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