Toshimitsu Motegi, the Japanese government official in charge of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, announced today that the 11 countries still participating in the negotiations had agreed on a newly revised TPP, which will now be called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This resolution followed last-minute objections from Canada at a TPP summit in Vietnam last November. Motegi said that the 11 nations plan to sign the agreement on March 8 in Chile. President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the original TPP deal on his third day in office.
One of Canada’s issues concerned an exemption to protect Canadian cultural products from the effects of free trade. Motegi said that the parties agreed to exchange a side letter with Canada over the issue after the pact goes into effect. It is also reported that Canada secured real gains in labor and environmental standards and the removal of text related to intellectual property.
Motegi called the agreement “epoch-making for Japan as well as for the future of the Asia-Pacific region,” and expressed hope that the United States will rejoin the deal eventually.