Pacific trade deal reached but leaders won't endorse it yet

Trade Minister David Parker and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are winning praise from the business community for

"Ministers are pleased to announce that they have agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership", the 11 nations said in a statement.

An earlier issue over wording, thought to involve Vietnam, has been resolved.

The announcement of a basic agreement was delayed by last-minute discord that prevented the TPP leaders from endorsing the plan when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not join other leaders to endorse an agreement in principle on pressing ahead without the US. In this global trade brief, we discuss the resurgence of the goal to renegotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership among the remaining 11 nations and the reaching of an agreement over the past weekend on the "core elements" of a deal.

A news conference was scheduled for later Saturday morning Vietnam time.

Over the last few months, Japan and Australia had lobbied hard for the agreement.

"Within cabinet responsibility comes the ability to agree to disagree", the prime minister said.

Ardern said Canada had withdrawn at this point.

Talks to revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact have effectively collapsed after Canada pulled out. "That is what I've been saying at least for a week, and I've been saying it around TPP12 for years now, and that position continues to hold", Trudeau tells CBS Radio-Canada.

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Opposition leader Bill English says the fact that the government is going to have to rely on National to pass free trade legislation shows there are "fundamental differences" within the coalition over the economy. Late Thursday, there had been "no distance between the parties", he said.

Meanwhile, President Trump wraps up his trip to Asia and stands firm that the United States will not participate in large trade agreements that tie the country's hands.

It would go beyond traditional deals by including issues like intellectual property, state-owned enterprises and labour rights.

Aspects of the trade pact have raised hackles also over a requirement that companies be allowed to sue governments for lack of enforcement of related laws. The agreement will take effect after ratification by six of the 11 members.

Trump's dramatically different stances from his predecessor, Barack Obama - such as his "America First" trade strategy and his skepticism over climate change - were apparent in Danang. The clock is running down for US pork.

The 11 counties remaining in the trade pact rejected by Trump in January have been working to revise the deal to allow them to proceed without US involvement.

Chinese President Xi Jinping flanked Mr Trump's other side. "This was never about this Friday, this was about the next decade, this is about shaping the terms of trade in the Asia-Pacific region". TPP commitments would eventually be ratified and enforced by its members.

As a developing country with a fast-growing export sector, this year's host country, Vietnam, has a strong interest in open trade and access for its exports to consumers in the West.

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