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Trudeau government to talk Trans-Pacific Partnership at APEC summit in Vietnam, May 20-21

Trudeau at the APEC summit in Peru, November 2016.

Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne will be discussing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other ‘free trade’ deals at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Hanoi, Vietnam on May 20-21.

Channel News Asia reports, “Even as the United States has pulled out from the TPP, both Singapore and Vietnam are ‘watching how things will develop’ on the trade pact, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at the end of his visit to Vietnam on Friday (March 24). [A Singapore government] spokesperson added that TPP ministers will be meeting again at the sidelines of the APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in May.”

The Globe and Mail highlights, “Trade officials from ex-TPP countries are now set to come up with a menu of options for ministers before they meet in May at an APEC gathering in Vietnam.”

Various news reports have suggested the likely list of “options” for TPP signatory countries would include expanding the 4-country Pacific Alliance bloc (that currently includes Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) and/or expanding the 16-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a proposed free trade agreement between the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and Vietnam – and the six states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements with – Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

The Trump administration formally withdrew from the TPP on January 23. Meanwhile, 67 days later, the Trudeau government has still not withdrawn from the deal. Nor has it given a clear explanation as to why it has not withdrawn from the TPP despite acknowledging that the deal is not viable without the participation of the United States.

To call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Trade Minister Champagne to formally withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership prior to the APEC summit in Hanoi, please go to our online action alert here.