Rebranded TPP agreement is closer to conclusion

Trade ministers from the 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam – announced they have agreed on the core elements of the deal and they are close to finalising a plan to bring the trade agreement into force. Nevertheless, a planned meeting of leaders to announce a completed deal was cancelled, after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reportedly decided not to attend, due to some remaining concerns. The negotiating parties rebranded the accord as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), explaining in a common statement that this version is meant to keep the original TPP’s “high standards, overall balance, and integrity (…) 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.” They also circulated two annexes – one which features an outline of the CPTPP, and another listing which provisions of the original TPP have been suspended and which are pending further negotiation. Eleven of the 20 suspended items are found within the TPP’s intellectual property chapter.