SANTIAGO – Eleven countries signed on Thursday the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a major international trade deal linking nations that have a combined population of 498 million people and account for more than 13 percent of the global economy.
Trade ministers from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam signed the CPTPP at a ceremony in Santiago presided over by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.
“It’s an ambitious, modern and forward-looking treaty and one that creatively incorporates new issues in international trade requiring that the benefits of globalization reach everyone,” Bachelet said.
The deal is the product of negotiations among those 11 countries after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the original TPP just days after his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017, saying the agreement would be harmful to American workers.
Bachelet said the CPTPP, also known as TPP-11, was comprehensive and progressive, “as the trade agenda of the 21st century should be,” and sends the clear message that the 11 signatories support open markets and a revaluation of the benefits of trade.
The deal was signed on the same day that Trump signed an executive order imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports entering the US.
“It’s not only a milestone for our foreign policy, but also strengthens our firm commitment to regional integration and free trade amid a changing world and growing protectionist trends,” said Bachelet, whose second term as Chile’s president ends on Sunday.
The US was one of the parties to the original TPP, which was signed in February 2016 when President Barack Obama was still in office.