Eleven Nations Gather To Sign Landmark International Trade Pact

Negotiators from 11 nations gathered in Santiago, Chili, to sign the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership – a deal that was formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership before the United States opted out after the election of President Donald Trump.

The new trade pact will encompass 500 million people. The countries that signed are Vietnam, Brunei, Australia, Japan, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Canada, New Zealand, Mexico, Peru and Singapore.

The primary result of the agreement will be the lowering of tariffs between signatory members, but it also provides for a number of other measures. Those includes meeting certain environmental standards and fair wage provisions for laborers.

In addition to the relaxing of tariffs, the 11-nation pact will moderate certain other fees and charges that are not tariffs, per se, but which can still create roadblocks to trade.

Experts said Asian nations will benefit the most from the agreement. Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam may realize a 2% boost in GDP as a result of the streamlined flow of business between nations.

At the same time, analysts say the United States missed a golden opportunity to add a half-percent to its GDP — or a value of about $131 billion. But Trump, trade unions and even left-leaning politician, such as Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, were extremely skeptical of the TTP because they said it did nothing to protect American workers.

However, the new trade agreement is written to allow future members to join. Thus, huge economies like that of the U.S. and Great Britain may still become signatories in years to come.

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