Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal signed in Auckland
The Trans Pacific Partnership, one of the biggest multinational trade deals ever, has been signed by ministers from its 12 member nations in New Zealand.
The ceremony in Auckland brings the huge trade pact, which has been five years in the making, another step towards to becoming a reality.
But the TPP continues to face opposition.
The 12 nations account for some 40% of the world’s economy – they now have two years to ratify or reject the pact.
Australia’s minister for trade Andrew Robb was the first to sign the pact. Those attending the ceremony cheered as his counterpart, New Zealand trade minister Todd McClay, added the last signature.
The TPP involves the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.
Those against the deal, particularly some Americans, fear it could mean jobs will move from the US to developing countries.
However, US President Barack Obama said the agreement was a new type of trade deal “that puts American workers first”.
“Partnership would give the United States an advantage over other leading economies, namely China,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
“TPP allows America – and not countries like China – to write the rules of the road in the 21st Century, which is especially important in a region as dynamic as the Asia-Pacific,” he said.
“We should get TPP done this year and give more American workers the shot at success they deserve and help more American businesses compete and win around the world.”
“TPP allows America – and not countries like China – to write the rules of the road in the 21st Century, which is especially important in a region as dynamic as the Asia-Pacific,”