11 countries officially sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement despite USA absence

Australia among 11 countries to sign TPP without US

The deal, which survived the United States' withdrawal previous year, will eliminate over 95 percent of all tariffs in a grouping worth $US10 trillion. The remaining members of the CPTPP, by contrast, represent a combined population of almost 500 million people and more than 13 percent of global trade.

Chile did not give up and promoted a meeting in Viña del Mar in 2017, and Japan, one of the colossuses of the world economy, closed ranks to boost the pact, which was renamed TPP-11.

In New Zealand, the agreement will go through a select committee process, where the public will get to have their say.

The agreement - rebranded as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) - has been championed as an antidote to growing U.S. protectionism under President Donald Trump.

Malaysia's Minister for Trade and Industry Datuk J. Jayasiri signs the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, in Santiago, Chile March 8, 2018.

Trade Minister Steve Ciobo will join his counterparts from 10 Pacific countries for the signing ceremony in Chile on Thursday.

Heraldo Munoz, Chile's minister of foreign affairs, said the agreement was a strong signal "against protectionist pressures, in favour of a world open to trade, without unilateral sanctions and without the threat of trade wars".

More than 20 provisions were suspended or changed in the new agreement, mostly rules over intellectual property originally inserted at the demand of United States negotiators.

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Trump has also threatened to dump the North American Free Trade Agreement unless the other two members of the pact, Canada and Mexico, agree to provisions that Trump says would boost US manufacturing and employment.

In about 60 days, after being ratified by six of its 11 members, the CPTPP will come into force, so the dynamics of Chile, Mexico and Peru will have great benefits.

An economic analysis released by the Canadian government in February said the pact would provide exporters with tariff savings of $428 million per year.

Trump, who abandoned TPP because he felt his administration could negotiate better deals one on one, told CNBC earlier this year that he would be open to returning to the agreement if it were "substantially better".

But Parker told Kate Hawkesby the other countries - including Japan, Canada and Mexico - are standing firm.

New Zealand and 10 other nations have signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.

The Council of Canadians is anxious, however, that with Mercosur, the Liberal government is again rushing into another corporate agreement, without a debate on the needs and wishes of the public, Dey said.

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