Danang Vietnam: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has sabotaged a pact to salvage a multibillion-dollar, 11-nation Pacific Rim trade deal at the last minute, surprising leaders of the other nations, including Australia's Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Trudeau failed to show up at a meeting late on Friday that was set to officially revive the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that had been negotiated on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in the Vietnamese coastal city of Danang.
"There were a lot of unhappy leaders left sitting there," said an official who was in the meeting.
All 11 foreign ministers of the grouping had agreed on Thursday night to revive the agreement that was rejected by US President Donald Trump days after he took office.
Mr Turnbull has been spruiking the benefits of the TPP since arriving in Danang on Thursday, telling an APEC leaders' reception the pact "creates rules of the road to match the new economic world in which we're living".
"It aims at old hidden trade barriers like corruption and new ones like data protectionism," he said.
"It works to level the playing field for non-state companies and is designed to defend and extend the freedom to explore, share and capitalise on new ideas."
Mr Turnbull said the pact would bring together economies with a collective GDP of about $US10 trillion.
"So that is a huge market," he said.
Mr Trudeau's walk-out is deeply embarrassing for Canada's Trade Minister Franois-Philippe Champagne, who has agreed to the deal.
Officials expected that the leaders would simply rubber-stamp what had already been agreed by the trade ministers, despite the agreement being unpopular in Canada.
Australia's Trade Minister Steven Ciobo said it was disappointing the leaders' meeting had to be cancelled.
He said what the trade ministers had agreed on was a "very high quality deal, one that maintained high standards and would have seen benefits flowing to the countries".
Mr Ciobo said despite the set-back the 10 other countries will need to consider the issues raised by Canada.
But no further negotiations or meetings are planned.
The agreement negotiated over more than a year would deliver 19 new free trade agreements among the 11 countries.
For Australia the pact would open new trade agreements with Canada and Mexico and provide greater market access to Japan, Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei.
The countries account for almost one quarter of Australia's exports of goods and services.
Backed by Australia, Japan has lobbied hard to proceed with the pact that is seen as a way to counter China's regional dominance.
Mr Turnbull is scheduled to meet Mr Trudeau during the three-day APEC meetings.
How can this be justifiable? Justin left the leaders of nations that, collectively represent $10 trillion (US) worth of economic activity. He just leaves them sitting at the table, like a bunch of punks?
For anyone who thinks Trump is diplomatically impossible -- this is way worse than anything Trump did. Why would any of these countries expend resources to work with Canada again? Or with Trudeau? Hmmmm?
TC, can even you justify such arrogance from our two-nanny PM?
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Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:28 am Post subject:
Its embarrassing but its largely expected at this point.
The different levels of "spin" put on what is ultimately a stunt and something that would barely be acceptable from a high school student let a lone the Prime Minister of a nation is unbelievable. In some cases its being chalked up to "Outstanding Issues"
Apparently there was a disagreement with Japan which prompted this outburst from the Prime Minister.
If Canada was unhappy with aspects of the agreement, even after the Trade Minister had largely agreed to the terms you pull up a seat at the big kids table an negotiate not take your crayons and make a scene.
We had Chrystia Freeland walk out on discussions with Wallonia and now this.
Its becoming a bit of a trend that dealing with us largely results in theatrics.
The Prime Minister has used NAFTA, CETA, and now the TPP to try and secure political brownie points with his parties supporters at home at the expense of the Economic Engine of the country.
At this point you have thrown Franois-Philippe Champagne under the bus,
If your Trade Minister has no credibility globally, whats the point of maintaining a Trade Minister?
He must think that Canada has more influence in the world than Japan! What does it say, merely as a diplomatic gesture, that he stood them up? Isn't it a display of Trudeau's contempt, and thus Canada's?
Look, if you could find out what he's smoking, maybe you could get some for me.
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Trudeau rudely snubs the Trans-Pacific Partnership.