SANTIAGO, CHILE — A trade deal originally expected to enhance trade relations between numerous Pacific countries and the United States has been signed but without U.S. participation. Signers of the new pact, dubbed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, included Japan, Canada, Mexico, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Chile, Australia, Peru, Vietnam and Malaysia.
The pact will lower both non-tariff and tariff barriers to trade and establishes an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. The agreement also sets rules on intellectual property, labor and the environment. It opens Japan’s highly protected agricultural market to shipments of beef and pork from Australia and Canada.
The pact was aimed at diminishing the increasing economic dominance of China in a rapidly growing part of the world. To take force, the agreement (a revised version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership), will need ratification by a majority of member countries.The signing ceremony occurred in Santiago the same day that the Trump administration announced tariffs on imported aluminum and steel and came more than a year after the United States withdrew from the TPP.