Photo credit: TPP.guide
Trade officials from the Pacific Rim trade initiative are commencing talks today in the Japanese mountain town of Hakone, west of Tokyo. The meetings are aimed at reworking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement whose future had been hanging in the balance ever since the U.S left treaty negotiations.
The talks follow from a joint Ministerial Statement released after meetings at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in May, 2017. Eleven countries, including long term supporters of the TPP, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, are attending.
This renewed push has been led by Japan and New Zealand, the only two countries who had ratified the original treaty. New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said back in May that New Zealand was “committed to progressing a TPP agreement because we believe that it’s in our region’s interest, it’s in the interest of our countries and it’s in the interest of global stability”.
The talks face some tough decisions regarding reworking the agreement, as the original wording and commencement mechanisms relied on the United States and their economic size. However, the remaining countries are optimistic that a new agreement can be reached and offer genuine economic opportunities.
It is hoped that any deal would set high standards over trade rules, labour, environmental and intellectual property protections, ensuring a level of standardisation in order to make business easier and more efficient.
The officials in Hakone reportedly are aiming to make real progress in their negotiations before the Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam in November.
You can find the TPP Partner's Statement and Ministerial Statement from May on the DFAT website: Here
You can also find the Ministerial Statement on the New Zealand Government website: Here
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