Chief negotiators from the respective countries in the Asia Pacific region are set to meet next week to hammer out an agreement for signing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
On Thursday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stated that along with Japan Australia is also committed on signing an Asia Pacific trade agreement by March.
Countries in the region have been eager to forge a trade pact that will replace the derailed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) said Turnbull.
“Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe and I are personally committed to having this deal signed and sealed by March,” said Turnbull in a speech in Tokyo.
Last November, 11 countries met at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam to keep the TPP alive following U.S. President Donald Trump taking the United States out from the historic pact citing protection of U.S. jobs.
Although ministers from 11 countries have agreed on the core elements of the pact, demands from countries, including Canada, for measures to ensure that jobs are protected remains a sticking point.
“Our strong preference is for all 11 countries to join the first wave but our focus is on bringing a new TPP agreement into force as soon as possible with those who are ready to move,” said Turnbull.
Chief negotiators from the respective countries are set to meet next week in the hope of smoothening out obstacles to signing the agreement, known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The CPTPP will leave a door open for a participation by the United States, said Turnbull.
“We are consciously setting it up to enable and encourage the United States to dock in should it choose to do so in the future,” said Turnbull.