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Japan hails progress in TPP trade talks, but discord raises doubts

10 November 2017

"It is a high-standard and balanced agreement", said Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan's minister for TPP negotiations after two rounds of ministerial meetings since Wednesday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in the central Vietnamese city of Danang.

A media report surfaced Thursday citing the Japanese economy minister as saying that the pact's remaining countries had agreed in principle on a way to proceed with the TPP - a report that was quickly quashed by International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

Overnight, Australia and Peru have announced a free trade agreement with "huge wins" promised for Australia's education, mining, health, services and farming sectors.

Parker would not name the country, but said it was not Canada. Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo also said that the countries had reached a deal, though he gave no other details.

"The countries are going to be deal-minded, but (a review) is going to be more than a legal scrub", said Miller, president of the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, which has advised different clients on trade issues, including Industry Canada.

The push to salvage a Pacific Rim trade pact will come to a head this week as nations diverge on whether it should be preserved, abandoned or renegotiated from scratch after President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the deal.

"Like any deal it's not done until it's done and there's still work to be completed, but we are very close and with a final nudge over the next day I hope we will get there", Ciobo added.

Trump and other APEC leaders, including President Xi Jinping of China and Russian President Vladimir Putin, will meet on Friday in Danang.

Trudeau met Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and civil society leaders, with whom he discussed issues like human rights, gender equality and freedom of expression.

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak told the APEC CEO summit on Friday that there had been progress by ministers in the talks and he was "reasonably confident" of an outcome. This is a global age, and Asia is the center of growth.

"There are clear benefits for our exporters in this agreement", she said.

Peru meanwhile is more focused on talks toward a trade-and-investment agreement between a smaller group of countries than trying to save the TPP without the US, a Peruvian official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Sharing the view, PM Trudeau said that the Canada-Vietnam comprehensive partnership will be an important legal framework for the two countries to further foster their existing cooperative ties in all fields.

"I think we just have to have irons in many fires".

"We are at the table, we're being constructive, we're being creative but let's be honest, some are hard discussions", Champagne said.

Japan hails progress in TPP trade talks, but discord raises doubts