11 countries sign Trans-Pacific Partnership without United States

Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum Thursday only a couple hours after 11 nations signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping trade agreement that was once thought to be dead after Trump withdrew the United States from talks.

It is a replacement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a similar plan that was thrown into limbo early previous year when United States President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal.

A group of 11 nations - including major US allies such as Japan, Canada and Australia - signed a broad trade deal Thursday that challenges Trump's view of trade as a zero-sum game filled with winners and losers.

The revamped TPP also includes Brunei, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

"By being relentless and determined in our advocacy for Australia and Australian jobs we secured that trade deal", Mr Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

The 11-member nations of the new deal produce roughly 13 per cent of the world's entire economic output.

"March 8 is a symbolic day as we saw exactly opposing moves", said Junichi Sugawara, a trade policy expert at the Mizuho Research Institute.

The deal was signed just before Trump slapped steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, setting up what many allies both at home and overseas warn could escalate into a global trade war.

No longer up in the air, a new Trans-Pacific Partnership has been signed and the United States isn't included.

New Zealand Winegrowers also said the deal sents the correct signal.

"Last year Australia exported around $12 billion worth of agricultural goods to the TPP-11 countries, so this is a real game changer with huge potential". While U.S. beef faces 38.5 percent tariffs in Japan, for example, beef from Australia, New Zealand and Canada will not. He said the deal was not in the best interests of American workers.

President Donald Trump fulfilled an election promise by pulling out in January past year, labelling the deal a disaster for American workers.

This is "a strong sign against the protectionist pressures, and in favor of a world open to free trade, without unilateral sanctions and the threat of trade wars", Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz said.

The deal's best feature was that it would have forced China to play by the TPP rules in a market that would have constituted 40 percent of the world's economy.

And while growing new markets would arguably be the whole point, it's unlikely to happen overnight.

By Sarah Nadlin Rohim and Jason Ng Nikkei Markets recasts lead, adds analyst's comemnts, Moody's views KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 09) - Malaysia, fresh from signing a free trade pact involving 11 Pacific-rim countries, will now focus on concluding talks on Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership, or RCEP to help secure new growth engines for the trade-reliant economy.

Earlier on Thursday, prior to the signing, the 11 countries held a ministerial meeting.

  • Leroy Wright