TPP11 comes into force today, the new bet against protectionism

TPP11 comes into force today, the new bet against protectionism

Some 500 million people are linked today in the new version of the agreement known as TPP, which seeks to liberalize trade between 11 countries determined to join their efforts to challenge the rising wave of protectionism.

The agreement, with the official name of Integral and Progressive Treaty of Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) but also known by its acronym TPP11, came into force today after being ratified on October 31 by the last of the six signatory nations that signed they required.

This is the updated version of the TPP, signed on February 4, 2016 but which entered into crisis following the decision of the US president, Donald Trump, to withdraw his country from this initiative in 2017.

The TPP11, composed of eleven nations, including Japan, the third world economy, is born in the middle of the still latent trade war between the US and China, tensions with side effects and that have led to increased protectionism.

But Japan, according to its Minister of Economic Revitalization, Toshimitsu Motegi, believes that the TPP11 "is going to send a strong message that free and fair (trade) rules are going to spread throughout the world."

"As a bearer of the free trade flag, Japan will continue to promote a free, fair and rule-based economic zone for a global world," Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said this week.

The original TPP was one of the targets chosen by Trump during the campaign to attack global free trade agreements and to insist on the need to launch new negotiations to renew the pacts to which the United States had committed.

That is why, three days after arriving at the White House, he signed the order to withdraw his country from the TPP, which reopened new negotiations between the remaining nations to define the future terms of their relationship.

There was a first ministerial meeting in Chile on 14 and 15 of 2017, weeks after Trump's decision, a later one in Hanoi in May and the efforts culminated in Santiago, Chile, on March 8, with the signature of TPP11.

The initiative links eleven nations (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam), but is open to those who want to join later, including the United States, if they decide it again.

In the Latin American world there are nations such as Colombia that initially showed interest in joining the TPP11, although the new government chaired by Iván Duque is reviewing that and other commercial efforts that were in progress.

"Colombia is on the waiting list," Foreign Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said in a recent interview with Efe, although he stressed that President Duque's policy is not to start new negotiations on trade issues.

According to Trujillo, the idea is to "strengthen the tools that Colombia has in order to make the best possible use of the signed trade agreements."

Other nations have shown interest in joining this initiative, such as the United Kingdom, although far from the Pacific Rim.

The issue was analyzed by the prime ministers of Japan and the United Kingdom at the recent G20 summit in Buenos Aires. On that occasion, the Japanese Abe and the British Theresa May said that their two countries are "the most powerful carriers of free trade."

In the absence of new partners who want to join, from today is fixed an area that, in addition to 500 million people, includes a global gross domestic product (GDP) of 10 billion dollars and a trade of 5 billion dollars.

The goals are clear from the preamble of the agreement that now enters into force: "Improve opportunities for the acceleration of the regional liberalization of trade and investment," and "promote greater regional economic integration."

Or as the then Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said when the document was signed: "It is an ambitious, modern and forward-looking treaty, and that creatively incorporates the new issues of international trade that demand that the benefits of globalization reach everyone. "


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