Nations Gather in Chile to Sign New Version of TPP, Without US

Pacific trade pact to be signed in Chile

Vietnam set to be big winner in TPP trade deal

The agreement signed on Thursday suspends 20 provisions of the original pact, many of which dealt with intellectual property rights. The US under Barack Obama had spearheaded the original Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in a bid to create a counterweight to China.

"We haven't been able to get every country on board, but signing letters with this many CPTPP partners is a real achievement", Parker said.

The pact will create one of the world's largest free trade blocs with a combined market of 499 million people and GDP of around 10,100 billion Dollars, accounting for 13.5 percent of the global GDP.

"There is no trade agreement involving that number of countries, and one that has 30 chapters which deal with all the most modern topics of global trade", Bartesaghi told AFP.

Once implemented, the 11 countries hope to expand the framework to other countries, in particular the United States, whose return would mean the pact covers almost 40 percent of global economic output and add security significance to the deal to counter China's rising clout in the Asia-Pacific region. "It is now a trade bloc that discriminates against the U.S".

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It pointed to analysis from the Peterson Institute for International Economics that showed Malaysia nudging Vietnam from the top spot in the CPTPP, which replaced the previous Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership after the United States pulled out.

Yesterday, 11 remaining members of the former TPP signed a revised free trade agreement (FTA) without the US.

In relation to CPTPP members - Japan, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam - existing bilateral and / or regional agreements have, or are already delivering, market access improvements, Mr Finucan said.

"While taxes are going to be applied to certain products and there is a threat of a trade war, we are going to give a signal of openness", Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz said ahead of the signing at 2am today, Singapore time.

Earlier on March 8, the Republic of Korea (ROK)'s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy announced that it would decide on whether to join the CPTPP this year after considering its impact on the national economy and consulting with member states.

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The move will result in significant export costs for European industry.

Taiwan will continue to adjust its laws and regulations, assess the impact of CPTPP on the domestic economy, step up its lobbying efforts overseas and communication at home in an effort to push for its early entry into the deal, the bureau said. However, the ratio goes up to 37% and the partnership becomes the largest economic bloc in the world if the US takes part.

The United States refused to participate in the agreement.

"It's a worrisome trend and it's one of the reasons why the [agreement] has become more important over the past year, because there are these protectionist measures starting to pop up in quite a widespread way around the world". Although the United States pulled out past year, the deal was salvaged by the remaining members, who signed it at a ceremony in the Chilean city of Santiago.

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