Ambitious TPP trade deal signed
The ambitious Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been formally signed in Auckland even as the US struggles to get the pact ratified in Congress.
The trade deal looks to facilitate investment between 12 countries across the Pacific Rim, which together account for about 40% of the global economy.
This includes Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia and Mexico.
The TPP was agreed in October after years of negotiations and multiple missed deadlines.
The US-led initiative is a key part of President Barack Obama’s so-called pivot to Asia but has proved to be a controversial issue ahead of the US elections in November.
Mr Obama has barely a year left on his term and his administration warns that the US economy will suffer if politicians don’t ratify the TPP agreement.
US Trade Representative Michael Froman said the deal could add $100bn a year to US growth.
“After five years of negotiation, signing the TPP is an important milestone in our efforts to set high-standard rules of the road in the Asia Pacific region and more generally, and to deliver an agreement that will benefit American workers, farmers and businesses,” he said.