The CPTPP is, in effect, the original Trans-Pacific Partnership struck during the Barack Obama presidency minus the U.S. On the campaign trail, Mr. Trump had promised to pull the U.S. out of the TPP, and went on to do precisely that within weeks of assuming office.
Out of 1,000 terms under initial deal, member countries suspended around 20 provisions, especially related to intellectual property protections lobbied by the U.S. But import tariffs will fall for all goods traded among members with more than 90% being eliminated immediately when ratified.
In the absence of the U.S., it has been renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
The pact represents 13.5 per cent of the global economy with a market of 500 million people, and comes amid a backlash against globalisation.
"Malaysia believes that this agreement will help us to further promote our trade and investment agenda and mitigate the challenges of the global economic environment", Mustapa said in a statement.
"It's great to see growing worldwide acknowledgement and understanding that we need trade that works for everyone", Mr Parker says.
President Trump pulled the US from TPP as one of his first orders of business in the Oval Office, and though he's since alluded to the USA rejoining the sweeping trade deal provided he could get "a much better deal", the US, for now, remains still out.
Korea has been in preliminary negotiations to participate as an associate member in the Pacific Alliance trade bloc composed of Mexico, Chile, Peru and Colombia.
The move will result in significant export costs for European industry.
"The signing of the CPTPP is a concrete demonstration of the signatories' commitment to the collective goals of greater trade liberalisation, regional economic integration, and better opportunities for our people", said Mr Lim.
But the TPP partners won't be held up while the USA takes a divergent path on trade. The thinking was that China would have an incentive to open its market and liberalize its policies in an effort to eventually qualify for TPP membership.
He has since suggested a possible return if the United States could strike a "substantially better deal". "It becomes a modest liberalization measure". Although the USA pulled out previous year, the deal was salvaged by the remaining members, who signed it at a ceremony in the Chilean city of Santiago.
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