Asia-Pacific states to sign trade deal without US

President Donald Trump listens Thursday during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington

The TPP would have established by far the world's largest free trade zone, covering roughly 800 million people and about 40 percent of the world's economic output.

Felipe Lopeandia, Chile's top trade negotiator, said the deal will "send a political signal to the world and to the United States itself, that this is a global agreement".

Japan and Australia were eager to move forward last fall at an Asian leaders' summit in Danang, Vietnam, but Canada held off, causing anger and some name-calling.

In New Zealand, the agreement will go through a select committee process, where the public will get to have their say.

The original 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal was thrown into limbo early past year when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement to prioritize protecting American jobs.

"It will be to the benefit of all the partners", Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said of the deal at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January. Most analysts predicted that the U.S.'s exit from the agreement would kill the deal, but the remaining countries - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam - rallied to save it.

The organisers of the protest told media that the TPP "is an global economic agreement that, despite criticism from the public for the lack of information and public debate, will be signed this Thursday".

He also explained the CPTPP will enter into force once ratified by at least six of the 11 countries.

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More than 20 provisions were suspended or changed in the new agreement, mostly rules over intellectual property originally inserted at the demand of USA negotiators.

Canadian International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne signed on behalf of Canada and Friday he will head to Paraguay to kindle free trade talks with the Mercosur group.

The CPTPP agreement leaves the door open for the USA to rejoin the club, a step Mr Trump in January hinted he would be open to if the United States could get a "substantially better deal".

After ratification, talks will begin on bringing other countries into the CPTPP.

Speaking on Morning Report earlier this week, Mr Parker said the new Pacific-wide agreement was a beacon for open markets at a time when countries were increasingly looking inwards.

On Thursday, Munoz said CPTPP was not an agreement against anyone and several governments had said they want to join it.

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. Champagne told Reuters that Canada would not accept duties or quotas from the United States.

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