TPP objection resolved, then talks abandoned

Some bizarre swings in the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations in Vietnam.

On Thursday night  apparent agreement was thwarted by a late objection by Vietnam, but that was resolved during the day on Friday with another leaders meeting due to start at 8 pm on Friday evening.

However Canada refused to attend, so the talks were abandoned, leaving little chance of a resolution alongside the APEC conference, and putting the future of the eleven country

NZH: No deal: How the TPP talks collapsed

The future of TPP has been thrown into doubt after Canada’s sudden refusal to attend the final leaders’ meeting in Danang, Vietnam, which was then cancelled.

The 10 other leaders including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern turned up expecting Canada to be present at 8pm NZ time.

Instead they found Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, holding crisis meetings with Canada’s Justin Trudeau over an undisclosed issue.

Abe returned to the room saying Trudeau was not attending and so the meeting was abandoned by the other countries, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Vietnam.

The dramas over Canada are not related to the bizarre events of last night in which the TPP deal was declared done by trade ministers, including Canada’s Trade Minister, but Vietnam then objected to a particular issue.

That issue was resolved during the day before the aborted leaders’ meeting.

Trade Minister David Parker said all of Canada’s issues appeared to have been resolved to their satisfaction last night.

“That seemed to change today.”

Parker said New Zealand was surprised at Canada’s sudden change of view and it was not the only country in the room that was. He said Australia was too.

It will be interesting to find out what suddenly turned Canada off the deal after coming close to agreement.

Canada are currently renegotiating the North American trade agreement (NAFTA) with the US and Mexico. Mexico is one of the 11 countries who have been trying to rescue the TPP after President Donald Trump puled the US out of it early this year.

Scathing coverage from Australia. Sydney Morning Herald: Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau sabotages Trans-Pacific Partnership, shocking leaders

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has sabotaged a pact to salvage a multibillion-dollar, 11-nation Pacific Rim trade deal at the last minute, surprising leaders of the other nations, including Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull.

“There were a lot of unhappy leaders left sitting there,” said an official who was in the meeting.

Mr Trudeau’s walk-out is deeply embarrassing for Canada’s Trade Minister Franois-Philippe Champagne, who has agreed to the deal.

Officials expected that the leaders would simply rubber-stamp what had already been agreed by the trade ministers, despite the agreement being unpopular in Canada.

The Australian: TPP: Canada ‘screwed everybody’ after trade talks no-show

CBC News (Canada): ‘Outstanding issues’: Trans-Pacific Partnership faces uncertain future after Trudeau skips leaders’ meeting

A planned meeting of Trans-Pacific Partnership countries was unexpectedly cancelled Friday after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau skipped the event when bilateral talks with his Japanese counterpart ended in disagreement.

A spokesperson for the prime minister said there is simply no consensus between the 11 member countries at this time.

“We made progress but, as we said coming in, there is no rush to conclude. There are outstanding issues for more than one country. One of those countries is Canada. We are working hard for Canadians and Canadian jobs in important industries such as automotive, agriculture, culture and intellectual property,” the spokesperson said.

Trudeau has signalled all week, during his travels in Asia, that Canada is not ready to put pen to paper on the agreement as there are still a number of lingering concerns. “Let me remind everyone Canada will not be rushed into a deal that is not in the best interest of Canada and Canadians,” Trudeau said Wednesday.

I didn’t see that reported here.

Liberal government officials refuted international reports — notably from Australian and New Zealand news outlets — that suggested Canada alone was to blame for delayed TPP talks.

“I can’t really speak for what you might be hearing from other countries,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters at the summit Friday. “Certainly, my own understanding, our understanding, is that there are a few countries who continue to have some important issues that they’d like to be addressed. And I think that’s reasonable.”

That’s quite different from Australian and New Zealand reports. And this symbolism:

UPDATE from Stuff:  TPP nations ‘have made good progress’ on deal, no-show ‘a misunderstanding’

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may not be dead in the water just yet, with Canada’s trade minister denying that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deliberately skipped a leaders’ meeting in Vietnam.

François-Philippe Champagne said the 11 remaining nations, which include New Zealand, had “made good progress” on striking a deal, though there was still work to do.

Reuters reported on Saturday morning that the 11 nations had agreed to the core elements of a deal, but still had details to iron out.

Reuters said it had seen a draft of the nations’ final statement, which was due to be released later in the day.

The statement said a “limited set of provisions” from the original deal would be suspended, while further technical work was needed on areas that still needed consensus “to prepare finalised text for signature”. It did not say when that might happen.

A Canadian official said: “We’ve agreed to a framework towards the deal, with work programmes to deal with issues.”

It sounds like it is an evolving situation.

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13 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  November 11, 2017

    Maybe Trump had a quiet word. Whatever, Jacinda has something go here way, apart from winning the election.

  2. What a waste of time and money and carbon

  3. Blazer

     /  November 11, 2017

    wonderful news…a crappy,shitty deal we need like a hole in the head.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 11, 2017

    According to the Herald talks are on again.

  5. unitedtribes2

     /  November 11, 2017

    More to do with Canada’s strategy negotiating NAFTA I would say TPP can wait a bit.

  6. David

     /  November 11, 2017

    Blame Canada;

  7. Fight4NZ

     /  November 11, 2017

    Al, the other day you said something about NZ Co’s successfully using corporate protection clauses in existing FTAs. I am interested to know more about those if you wouldn’t mind elaborating?

  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 11, 2017

    WTO disputes

  9. Alan Wilkinson

     /  November 11, 2017

    New Zealand
    See this on a map as complainant — 9 case(s):
    DS35, DS72, DS93, DS113, DS177, DS258, DS367, DS466, DS477 — as third party — 42 case(s):
    DS26, DS48, DS161, DS166, DS169, DS174, DS178, DS245, DS248, DS249, DS251, DS252, DS253, DS254, DS264, DS265, DS266, DS267, DS283, DS290, DS291, DS292, DS293, DS320, DS321, DS322, DS323, DS357, DS365, DS381, DS384, DS386, DS389, DS434, DS435, DS441, DS455, DS458, DS467, DS469, DS484, DS495

    https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/dispu_by_country_e.htm

    • Fight4NZ

       /  November 11, 2017

      These are all market access disputes correct? I think everyone supports removal of those barriers. But none of these are corporate actions taken against govts for legislation that is to their detriment, which is the issue about which there is so much resistance.

  10. “http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=2018621303

    Radio NZ News flash 3pm 11/11/17.

    Start

    The 11 nations involved have re-convened today to try to salvage the deal and have agreed to most of the deal but four provisions that have been ‘suspended’, the new agreement has been renamed “The comprehensive progressive pacific partnership agreement”.

    End.”
    Hat-tip The Standard

  11. Make yer bloody minds up.