After years of unstable negotiations, the 11 members of the Trans-Pacific trade agreement officially signed the treaty in Chile on Thursday. The ministers promised to send it to their respective parliaments in the coming weeks, while some said it could be implemented by the end of the year.
The TPP was also signed by the Trade Ministers of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, United States, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
During the signing, the 12 Ministers expressed their satisfaction at the completion of the process of negotiations for the world’s newest Trade Agreement because of its level of ambition, range of topics and high standards that will guide the international trade negotiations for the coming decades.
The TPP Agreement is a strategy of Trade and Investment articulated by Mexico in Asia-Pacific, the region that will record the highest growth over the next 25 years.
Through the TPP, Mexican products will have access to six new markets with which it had not previously been engaged (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam) and that represent a market of 155 million potential consumers. The Agreement also strengthens the productive integration of Mexico with the United States and Canada, and deepens the business relationship with strategic partners such as Japan, Chile and Peru.
The members presented the agreement, now known as Trans-Pacific Partnership Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty (CPTTP), as their commitment to free trade after President Donald Trump withdrew to the US. last year. However, the concern for protectionism grows after Trump’s promise to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminum, even for old US allies, which could entail retaliatory taxes.
“It’s an excellent day for trade,” said Steven Ciobo, Australia’s trade minister. “We are sending a mutual signal that we recognize that trade is good for economic growth, for employment and prosperity.”
For the agreement, which covers approximately 13 percent of the world’s economy, to enter into force, it must be ratified by six signatories – a minor obstacle in relation to the original pact rejected by Trump. The treaty signed on Thursday suspends 20 provisions of the original, many of which related to intellectual property rights.
“Today we can say that free trade is very much alive,” said Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz, who pointed out that “in addition to being a strong signal against protectionist pressures, it is in favor of a world open to trade, without unilateral sanctions and without the threat of commercial wars “.
The state of affairs in each of the national legislative assemblies is as follows:
Japan, by far the most important economy of the agreement, intends to sanction it by the end of June the current session of parliament, where the coalition of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe holds a majority in both houses.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a majority government. It is expected, therefore, that the parliament will sanction the bill that ratifies the treaty with relative ease.
Although the government expressed its wish for the CPTPP to enter into force “as soon as possible”, there are three obstacles. After the signing in Chile, an analysis commissioned by the government will be submitted to the parliament in order to establish whether the agreement benefits the country. The government does not have a majority in the Senate, where the laws need the support of rival legislators. Labor, which represents the main opposition, has said that, without the United States, the treaty must be abandoned.
Approving the CPTPP during the current session of the Senate, which ends at the end of April, would be a positive signal, but the legislators are in charge of determining the schedule.
The Minister of Commerce, Mustapa Mohamed, said this week that the government will not be able to modify the 18 laws required for the agreement to enter into force at the beginning of 2019.
The city-state has not set a date for ratification, but in a speech last week Trade Minister Lim Hng Kiang said that free and open markets are fundamental to the development of Singapore.
President Michelle Bachelet will leave office a few days after the signing ceremony. His successor, Sebastián Piñera, is a conservative billionaire who defends policies in favor of companies and is considered unlikely to slow down the ratification process.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs analyzes the CPTPP and will determine if it is necessary for it to pass through Congress. Legislative approval may become necessary if the ministry decides that the treaty has implications for human rights and sovereignty or requires more laws for its application.
The agreement faces few political obstacles since the two most important parties support it.
In the single-party state, the national assembly will vote on the agreement if the governing body so decides.
The Sultan has broad legislative powers in the absolute monarchy that governs under a regime of State of Emergency since 1962. Probably sanctions any law he deems appropriate by an emergency decree and his actions are not subject to judicial review. Mexico signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement TPP
The TPP will enter into force within two years of its signature if the 12 participating countries report their ratification or, failing that, when six countries, representing 85% of Gross Domestic Product of the TPP do so.