Revised Trans-Pacific Partnership deal signed

Published on
March 20, 2018

A revised version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact was signed on 8 March in Santiago, Chile, without the membership of its former chief backer, the United States.

After U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the original TPP agreement, the remaining members – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – went on to forge a deal called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). The deal will go into effect 60 days after a majority of the signatories ratify it. 

Japan led the way in keeping the coalition of 11 countries together, and as the largest economy in the group, will be the richest market.

Of the participants, only Brunei, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Vietnam do not already have free trade agreements with the United States that include seafood trade. New Zealand is a major world supplier of hake and hoki, while Japan’s major seafood exports to the United States include yellowtail and scallops. For the U.S. seafood trade, the biggest impact of taking part in the treaty would have been cheaper imports of farmed shrimp from Vietnam and Malaysia.

Vietnam stands to win big as a result of the deal, which gives its seafood exporters easier access to the Japanese market. Despite a previous free-trade agreement between Vietnam and Japan, Vietnamese tuna is subject to import duties ranging from 6.4 to 7.2 percent, while Thailand and Philippines pay no duties. The CPTPP eliminates the import taxes on Vietnamese tuna.

Australian Southern bluefin tuna, Canadian snow crab, Vietnamese shrimp, and fishmeal from Peru and Chile will also have an easier time getting into Japan under the terms of the new deal.

Contributing Editor reporting from Osaka, Japan

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