Pacific trade agreement signed by 11 countries

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Eleven Asia-Pacific countries have signed the pact of commerce, formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Although the US was released last year, the case has been picked up by the other members, who signed it at a ceremony in the Chilean city of Santiago.

Chilean foreign affairs minister Heraldo Munoz said the agreement was a strong signal “against protectionist pressures in favor of a world open to trade”.

The agreement covers a market of almost 500 million people, despite the US pull-out.

In the absence of the united states, it has been renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive of the Agreement Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Foreign adjectives aside, its supporters say that it is extremely important, and could be a model for future trade agreements. What does it do?

Its main purpose is to reduce tariffs between the member countries.

But it also seeks to reduce the so-called non-tariff measures, which create obstacles to trade through regulations.

There are chapters that have the objective of harmonising these regulations, or at least make them more transparent and fair.

There are also commitments to meet minimum labour and environmental standards.

It also includes a controversial Investor-State Dispute Settlement mechanism, which allows companies to sue governments when they believe that a change in the law has affected their profits. Who’s in it?

In alphabetical order: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The united states is conspicuously absent.

President Donald Trump fulfilled a campaign promise by firing in January of last year, labelling the deal a disaster for American workers.

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Who are the winners and losers?

In short, the biggest winners are expected to be in Asia, while the richest countries, on balance, should not receive so much a boost.

The Peterson Institute for International Economics, says the Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam will each receive a bump of more than 2% of their economy by 2030.

New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Australia will each grow by 1% or less.

The same study indicates that the united states could be a big loser, which precedes a boost to its Gross Domestic Product by 0.5% ($131bn).

What is more, he could lose an extra 2 billion dollars, because the companies in the member countries have an incentive to trade with each other rather than with U.s. firms.

Donald Trump is not the only one who doesn’t have to be convinced of its value, though.

The unions (especially in the more affluent countries, such as Australia and Canada) say that the case could be a killer of jobs or push down wages.

Some economists have also suggested that free trade agreements are rigged by special interests, which makes their economic value much more doubtful. Is there any point without US?

Yes, but there is no question, the case is diminished without the participation of the largest economy in the world.

The rest of the economies of the nations represent more than 13% of the global economy – a total of $10 billion.
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With the united states, the case would have represented 40%.

In australia, the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said that the agreement has been put in place to allow to admit new members, possibly including the united states.

However, the revision of the agreement decreased by approximately 20 of the original provisions (especially those imposed by the united states), which suggests a US re-entry would be an intense negotiation.

And although Donald Trump is on record saying that he would be open to a much better, broader hostility towards the trade pacts suggests that it is a remote possibility. Could the UK join?

Sure, why not? There is nothing to prohibit it, even if most of the members are on the other side of the world.

Australia, at least, has indicated that he is open to the idea, and the UK’s International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, has shown some interest to join after the UK completes its departure from the EU.

But it is unlikely that the membership would provide an immediate replacement of its trade partners of the EU after brexit.

This is because the region is not a major destination for UK exports.
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And while growing new markets would no doubt be the whole point, it is unlikely to occur overnight.

The signatories represented less than 8% of UK exports last year, according to a study conducted by the Observatory of economic Complexity at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.