|Renamed as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the TPP gains a new lease on life|
According to a Trans-Pacific Partnership ministerial statement released just an hour ago, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will continue to be materialised under the new name of “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).”
“The ministers are pleased to announce that they have agreed on the core elements of CPTPP. Ministers agreed to Annex 1 and H, which incorporates provisions of the TPP, with the exception of a limited set of provisions which will be suspended. This text also incorporates a list of four specific items for which substantial progress was made but consensus must be achieved prior to signing,” said the statement.
Ministers agree that the CPTPP maintains high standards, overall balance, and the integrity of the TPP, while ensuring the commercial and other interests of all participants and preserving their inherent right to regulate, including the flexibility of the parties to set legislative and regulatory priorities.
Ministers also affirmed the right of each party to preserve, develop, and implement its cultural policies. Ministers consider that the CPTPP reflects the desire of the parties to implement TPP outcomes among themselves.
In January this year, the US withdrew from the TPP, with the 11 remaining member nations, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam showing strong determination to keep the TPP process afloat.
“Ministers have made great efforts to ensure that CPTPP must be a pact with the highest standards and quality, meeting all demands, interests, and benefitting the 11 nations. Especially, the new pact must ensure feasible enforcement,” Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh told VIR.
“After the US withdrew from the TPP, nations obviously faced some difficulties. However, the biggest difficulty was to reach unanimous consensus on the feasibility of the TPP, or now CPTPP,” Tuan Anh said.
When they last met in Hanoi on May 21, 2017, the ministers of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam reaffirmed the balanced outcome and the strategic and economic significance of the TPP Agreement signed in Auckland in February 2016.
In particular, leaders highlighted the agreement’s principles and high standards as a way to promote regional economic integration and contribute to the economic growth prospects of its member economies, and create new opportunities for workers, families, farmers, businesses, and consumers.
In May, ministers tasked officials to engage in a process of assessing options to bring the comprehensive, high quality agreement into force. Over the past several months, officials have worked to reach a balanced outcome that maintains the significant benefits of the TPP.
“Ministers confirm that the legal instrument proposed for the CPTPP allows participants to act decisively in a timely manner to advance their shared objectives,” said the ministerial statement. “Ministers reaffirmed that the CPTPP demonstrates their firm commitment to open markets, to combat protectionism, and to advance regional economic integration.”
Ministers tasked officials to continue their technical work, including continuing their efforts toward finalising those items for which consensus has not yet been achieved, and legal verification of the English text and translation, to prepare a finalised text for signature.
“Ministers recognise that each country will need to pursue its own domestic processes, including public consultation before signing,” read the statement.
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