Sheep and beef sector welcomes signing of CPTPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have represented 40 percent of the global economy and almost one-quarter of its trade, was left for dead after Trump pulled out to pursue his "America First" agenda before the TPP could take effect. There are also discussions of the US rejoining the deal down the line, in which case, changes to the current deal could be made and revive some of the worst provisions. As its preamble makes clear, virtually all of the original provisions of the TPP "are incorporated, by reference, into and made part of this Agreement".

Even without the United States, the deal will span a market of almost 500 million people, making it one of the globe's three largest trade agreements, according to Chilean and Canadian trade statistics.

"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", said Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz.

The 11 nations of the new CPTPP produce 13.5 per cent of the world's economic output - some 10 trillion dollars - combined.

National University of Singapore economist Davin Chor said the deal showed that the rest of the world was prepared to advance free trade, with or without the US.

Washington's absence leaves an open path for China - which remains excluded from the deal - as it negotiates separately with Asian countries and New Zealand. Critics in countries ranging from Canada and Chile to New Zealand and Australia have met Thursday's signing with vocal opposition.

Australia's beef exports to Japan have increased by a cumulative $1 billion since its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) came into force, which has resulted in New Zealand losing out on approximately $53 million worth of beef exports to Japan over the same period.

"The real worry has to be not only that our government has rolled over on this one", she added, "but that it and the other 10 will roll over to the demands of the Trump administration if they want to re-enter".

But the remaining countries regrouped and that culminated in the signing Thursday.

Trump, who abandoned TPP because he felt his administration could negotiate better deals one on one, told CNBC earlier this year that he would be open to returning to the agreement if it were "substantially better". "We welcome it becoming positive toward the TPP".

The CPTPP will also strengthen trade among countries in the Asia-Pacific region, by significantly eliminating tariffs and non-tariffs barriers for goods, said the trade ministry.

As well, Trump has threatened to kill the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiations that are underway with Canada and Mexico.

After the signing on Thursday, the agreement must also be ratified by member governments in order to go into effect.

  • Rogelio Becker