TPP trade deal talks move forward

Trudeau Vietnam 20171109

Now all negotiators, including Canada, say it's "on again", issuing a statement they have agreed to continue negotiating and an agreement on "core elements" had been reached in another meeting later on Friday.

Late Friday, the talks had made enough progress for Canada to declare a modest victory, but it was a far cry from the "deal in principle" Japan's economy minister was trumpeting the day before.

International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne made an 11th hour visit to the hotel of Canadian reporters in Vietnam late Friday to tout the progress made on TPP despite the cancelled leaders meeting.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending Canada's actions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, asserting the country simply was not ready to put pen to paper on a final agreement because of lingering concerns around culture and the automotive sector.

Najib said officials met until 3 a.m. Friday trying to bridge their differences and produce a statement for the leaders of their countries to endorse.

Viet Nam's Industry and Trade Minister Tran Tuan Anh (left) and Japanese economic revitalisation minister Toshimitsu Motegi, co-chair Saturday's press conference.

Much of the outrage over Canada's sudden outlier status - a position it frequently occupied under the Stephen Harper Conservatives - emanated from Down Under.

The proposed basic agreement reached in Danang said that the ministers maintained "the high standards, overall balance and integrity of the TPP while ensuring the commercial and other interests of all participants and preserving our inherent right to regulate, including the flexibility of the parties to set legislative and regulatory priorities".

That view came from some unlikely sources, including some former Harper-era Conservatives who were intimately involved in the original negotiation of the TPP, the Canada-EU free trade deal known as CETA, and many other deals of varying sizes.

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The TPP member countries are trying to find a way forward without the USA, the biggest economy and, before Trump took office, one of its most assertive supporters.

In a speech hours before at the summit, President Trump emphasized his hard line on multilateral trade deals, declaring that the US would not be "taken advantage of anymore." the which has informed his threats to pull out of NAFTA.

The Trudeau government had previously never fully committed to the TPP, and spent months consulting the public on the agreement.

She also suggested Canada wasn't the only one to blame for Friday's cancellation. He lambasted the World Trade Organization and other trade forums as unfair to the United States and reiterated his preference for bilateral trade deals, saying "I am always going to put America first".

A blockbuster Pacific trade pact abandoned by US President Donald Trump has edged closer to becoming reality after days of tense talks in Vietnam. China is not part of the TPP.

Later, leaders of the 21 Apec economies agreed to address "unfair trade practices" and called for the removal of "market distorting subsidies", in contrast to communiques they have issued in the past.

Vietnam, where several Taiwanese business interests are concentrated, is a TPP member, which could add leverage to Taiwan's bid for membership, Liu added.

Heading into the APEC summit, some countries had expected an agreement. Danang, Vietnam's third largest city, is in the midst of a construction boom as dozens of resorts and smaller hotels pop up along its scenic coastline.

Canada asked for a bilateral meeting with Japan out of his respect for Abe and the countries' strong relationship, the official said.

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