Preliminary agreement reached on TPP: VN trade Minister

Preliminary agreement reached on TPP: VN trade Minister

Talks on pushing ahead the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal without the United States reached a critical point today as ministers from the 11 countries discussed a proposed agreement in principle.

On the sidelines of the APEC meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, the eleven countries trying to negotiate the TPP have agreed on the "core elements" of the trade deal, but some contentious areas - including culture and dispute settlement - were set aside for further negotiation.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attends a news conference with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc (not pictured) at the Government Office in Hanoi, Vietnam November 8, 2017.

"Our ministers are very much engaged and working hard on this issue of TPP 11".

It did not say when that might happen.

A Canadian official said: "We've agreed to a framework towards the deal, with work programmes to deal with issues".

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Talks to revive the free trade deal appeared to have collapsed on Friday night when Trudeau failed to show up to a leaders' meeting, but Champagne blamed his absence on "a misunderstanding about the schedule".

Parker said other countries in the room, including Australia, were surprised by Canada's non-appearance at the talks.

The positions of both Canada and Mexico are also complicated by the fact that they are renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) with the Trump administration.

At a speech in Danang, Trump set out a strong message making clear he was only interested in bilateral deals in Asia which would never put the United States at a disadvantage.

APEC, whose leaders hold their full summit on Saturday, has itself been buffeted by the changes under Trump.

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