Pacific Trade Deal Closer But Leaders Won't Endorse It Yet

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Ministers said they have tasked officials with continuing their technical work, including continuing their efforts toward finalising those items on which consensus has not yet been achieved, as well as legal verification of the English text and translation to prepare the finalised text for signature.

Besides the tariff cuts, the TPP agreement has provisions for protecting the environment, workers' rights and intellectual property - one of the major sticking points after the departure of the United States.

The talks resulted in a rebadging of the trade pact to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The TPP - now called the Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership - has been agreed in principle by the 11 nations in it, including New Zealand. Japanese media reported that the Japanese and Vietnamese co-chairs of the ministerial meetings would hold a news conference Saturday on the sidelines of the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, which wraps up later Saturday.

Trudeau said his unexpected absence from a TPP leaders' meeting on Friday, which caused consternation among his fellow leaders and confusion about Canada's stance, stemmed from an extra-long meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"We're in an easier place to try things out, to test policy sensitivities even if we don't get everybody around the table", Bollard said.

"Canada did agree, and that means the "top" also agreed", he said.

Trudeau said days earlier that Canada would not be rushed into an agreement. Detractors of the TPP say it favors corporate interests over labor and other rights.

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Aspects of the trade pact have raised hackles also over a requirement that companies be allowed to sue governments for lack of enforcement of related laws. Motegi says that involved a hard balance between maintaining high standards and pragmatism.

Trump feared the TPP trade deal would take jobs away from the United States, and wanted to focus on America First policies.

On Friday, in his speech, the US president railed against worldwide trade deals, blaming them for America job losses and accusing Asian countries of ignoring them in "violations, cheating or economic aggression".

Chinese President Xi Jinping flanked Mr Trump's other side.

Increasingly, APEC summits have become more of an opportunity for such side talks, and for host nations to showcase their growing affluence.

TPP took seven years to negotiate and was drafted in part to counter China's dominance in Asia. Danang, Vietnam's third largest city, is in the midst of a construction boom as dozens of resorts and smaller hotels pop up along its scenic coastline.

She said New Zealand had gone into the talks to be constructive and had made some good gain and that it would be disappointing for New Zealand exporters.