TRANS-PACIFIC TRADE DEAL TAKES OFF
In stark contrast to growing protectionism, the 11-nation Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) came into force on December 30, 2018, creating a free trade area that accounts for 13 per cent of the world’s GDP and covers an economic bloc of 500 million people. A revised version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the deal enables members to scrap tariffs on agricultural and industrial products for mutual advantage and ease investment norms. TPP negotiations started in 2010, but the US pulled out in 2017, days after President Donald Trump took office. Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico are the first six members to ratify the pact. Vietnam will soon follow suit. Four other nations are yet to ratify while efforts are on to bring more countries on board.