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Representatives from the 11 member nations of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership met March 8 in Santiago, Chile, to sign the revised trade and investment pact.
International Relations

Eleven countries sign revamped TPP in Chile

Pacific trade deal brought back from the brink after US departure

SANTIAGO, Chile -- Eleven Pacific Rim countries signed the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership here Thursday afternoon, finalizing the trade and investment agreement just over a year after the American withdrawal left its fate in question.

The pact, renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, retains all of the tariff reductions and eliminations from the original version signed in 2016 by the 11 nations and the U.S. It suspends 22 other provisions, including some intellectual property rules.

With the deal signed, members will begin domestic ratification procedures. The CPTPP will take effect once it is approved by at least six countries.

The Japanese government will submit the agreement and related legislation to parliament this month, aiming for passage by June. The CPTPP is expected to make imported goods like meat, wine and cheese cheaper for Japanese consumers, as well as benefit Japanese exporters by cutting tariffs on such products as cars.

The deal "will provide free and fair rules for the Asia-Pacific region," Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at the signing ceremony, adding that Japan will "ratify this promptly."

After ratification, talks will begin on bringing other countries into the CPTPP. The U.K., Taiwan, South Korea and Indonesia are among those that have shown interest in participating. U.S. President Donald Trump has also indicated openness to rejoining the deal under the right conditions. Japan, which spearheaded the 11-member TPP talks, is expected to play a similar role in steering the pact's expansion.

Japanese Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, right, said the CPTPP will provide "free and fair rules for the Asia-Pacific region."   © Reuters

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