TPP countries to discuss agreement in principle on trade deal: Japan

National's Todd Mc Clay says TPP would be a big win for NZ exporters and trade liberalisation in general

National's Todd Mc Clay says TPP would be a big win for NZ exporters and trade liberalisation in general

The ministers also said they would work to improve the functioning of the World Trade Organisation - which Trump criticised in Friday's speech. Canada's trade minister later blamed Trudeau's absence on "a misunderstanding about the schedule".

Talks - often heated - have been held on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in the Vietnamese resort of Danang, where Trump and other leaders held their main meeting on Saturday. An official said they were expected to meet again in the evening ahead of talks between TPP leaders on Friday.

But the TPP-11 was thrown into limbo on Friday after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau snubbed an APEC leader's meeting on the deal and raised a raft of unforeseen issues.

But Trudeau argued he sent signals all week that Canada would not close the TPP treaty unless it was right for Canadians. Media reports directly blamed Canada and Trudeau for helping to scuttle the scheduled meeting.

The proposed basic agreement reached in Danang said that the ministers maintained "the high standards, overall balance and integrity of the TPP while ensuring the commercial and other interests of all participants and preserving our inherent right to regulate, including the flexibility of the parties to set legislative and regulatory priorities". The talks were "very productive, ' but more discussion was needed, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo was reported to have said on Thursday".

"We have witnessed changes more rapid and complex than we expect", he said in opening remarks.

Canada's Minister of International Commerce Francois-P Champagne said in a tweet Saturday: "After lots of work, big progress on the 'Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership'".

New Zealand's minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, said talks on a Pacific Rim trade pact are more likely to progress if few changes are made to the original accord.

Ardern said Canada had withdrawn at this point. Partly to counter China's growing dominance in Asia, Japan had been lobbying hard for the TPP pact, which aims to eliminate tariffs on industrial and farm products across the 11-nation bloc whose trade totalled $356 billion a year ago.

The 11 counties remaining in the trade pact rejected by Trump in January have been working to revise the deal to allow them to proceed without US involvement.

"Canada will not be rushed into a deal that is not in the best interest of Canada and of Canadians", Trudeau told a news conference during a visit to Vietnam before heading to an APEC summit later in the week.

It appeared to get off to a chilly start.

"We walked into a meeting and they were the only one absent". But they only clasped hands after someone in the room said: "Shake hands please".

She said she was left with the impression that Canada had withdrawn from the negotiations.

Mr Ciobo would not be drawn on whether Canada could be cut adrift and the trade pact could proceed with just other nine countries.

The TPP, which would have covered 40 percent of the global economy, was thrown into disarray when Trump withdrew the USA in one of his first acts as president due to a perceived risk to U.S. jobs, leaving other countries scrambling to keep the deal alive.

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