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CPTPP trade deal takes effect

The 11-member Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade pact entered into force on Sunday, creating a free trade area covering more than a tenth of the global economy.

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh (first right) takes photo with representatives of Trans-Pacific Partnership members after the signing ceremony in Santiago, Chile on March 8, 2018. (Photo: AFP)

The agreement, signed in March, will cut tariffs on agriculture and industrial products, ease investment restrictions, and enhance protection of intellectual property.

The 11 countries hope that the CPTPP will serve as a counter to growing protectionism. The US had been a member of the original pact but withdrew just days into the administration of President Donald Trump.

Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore became the first six members to ratify the pact, setting the stage for its entry into force.

The CPTPP accounts for 13 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and provides access to an economic bloc of 500 million people.

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