All eyes will be on the United States (and Japan), which can make or break the massive free trade agreement.
With the signing ceremony in Auckland, New Zealand today, the Trans-Pacific Partnership has taken a significant, although symbolic, step forward. The text agreed upon in October 2015 was reached after five years of formal negotiations, which themselves grew out of U.S. negotiations with the four members of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (Brunei, Chile, Singapore, New Zealand). The TPP includes 12 states (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam) which together represent nearly 40 percent of global GDP and a third of world trade. The agreement is perhaps the most comprehensive, if not longest, free trade agreement ever concocted.
At the signing ceremony, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key called the signing “an important step” but noted that the the agreement “is still just a piece of paper, or rather over 16,000 pieces of paper, until it actually comes into force.” Read more