Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

#MeToo and mixed messages

Read more

THE DEBATE

Tunisia's revolutionary fire: 7 years after the arab spring marked by fresh protests

Read more

FOCUS

Stolen medication sold on black market in Mexico

Read more

ENCORE!

Brendan Power: The future of the harmonica

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Louise Arbour: Negative attitude towards migration 'completely self-defeating'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Former WTO head Lamy: 'Brexit is like trying to get an egg out of an omelette'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

2018 begins: A happy new year for Europe?

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Detroit Motor Show kicks off with trucks taking centre stage

Read more

THE OBSERVERS DIRECT

Tunisia's fleeing youth

Read more

'Framework' agreed on Asia-Pacific trade pact without US

© POOL/AFP/File | After days of talks on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Danang, the so-called TPP-11 nations made a breakthrough early Saturday, a day after Donald Trump's ladled out more 'America First' rhetoric in an address to world leaders

DANANG (VIETNAM) (AFP) - 

Remaining members of a major Pacific trade deal abandoned by the United States have agreed to a new framework after days of stalled talks to revive the pact, Canada's trade minister said Saturday.

Francois-Philippe Champagne welcomed the breakthrough in a tweet as "big progress" and shared a statement saying his government had agreed to "a framework for a new Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership" after holding out for strict labour and environmental clauses.

Those elements were thrown into jeopardy by America's sudden withdrawal from the deal earlier this year, which forced the remaining 11 countries involved in the pact to reconsider the merits of a deal suddenly shorn of access to the world's largest economy.

After days of talks on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Danang, the so-called TPP-11 nations made a breakthrough early Saturday, a day after Donald Trump's ladled out more 'America First' rhetoric in an address to world leaders.

The Canadian statement said "there still are a number of issues that remain outstanding for Canada" but welcomed "a new agreement" with environmental and labour protections linked to freer markets.

Canada had dug in over those progressive clauses.

But they are much less attractive to countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Chile and Peru now that the carrot of access to the huge US market has been pulled.

Japan, the world's third largest economy, has been particularly active in pushing for a swift consensus, fearful that delays could lead to the eventual collapse of the pact after years of negotiations.

burs-apj/jta/kaf

© 2017 AFP