13 Nov 2017 - After a few fraught days, the TPP was given new life. However, the struggles to get the deal across the line and other issues at the Apec summit raise questions about obstacles to multilateral trade and what that means for New Zealand, as Sam Sachdeva reports. The ideological battle for the future of Asia-Pacific trade played out on the big screen at Da Nang.
Of course, there was the stuttering, stumbling, but ultimately successful (or near enough) negotiations to reach agreement on the TPP (now known as the CPTPP - the Comprehensive and Progressive agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership).
While the New Zealand team was cautiously hailing the outcome, other events at the Apec summit may have given them cause for concern when it comes to multilateralism.
In his speech to the Apec CEO’s Summit, US President Donald Trump railled against what he saw as unfair trading arrangements, saying the US had “not been treated fairly” by the WTO and other countries had not reciprocated the favours extended by his country.
While the US was open to bilateral agreements with any Asia-Pacific country, he made no bones about its approach to multilateralism.
“What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty, and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible.”
Worryingly, there are some concerns about whether Trump wants to kill the WTO: an article in the New York Times suggested American negotiators had warned their Mexican and Canadian counterparts that they could not expect their trade to “simply snap back to WTO rules” if the US leaves NAFTA.
Continue here to read the full Newsroom article by Sam Sachdeva || November 13 2017 |||