Eleven nations, including Japan Canada and Australia all, signed a broad trade deal on Thursday in Santiago. It covers over 500 million people on both sides of the Pacific Ocean and represents a new vision for global trade and is being seen as a challenge to the United States President Donald Trump in the wake of his new aluminum and steel tariffs.
The United States was originally going to be apart of the 11 nation agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but withdrew after he felt it was another unfair deal for the United States. The decision for the 11 countries to proceed without the United States is a sign that other countries who previously counted on the leadership of the United States are now willing to go ahead without their participation.
Michelle Bachelet, the president of Chili, where the deal was signed made a brief speech on Thursday. “Globally, there has been an increasing level of uncertainty, given the adoption of policies and measures by some key players that question the principles that have contributed to generating prosperity for our peoples. We need to stay on the course of globalization, yet learning from our past mistakes.”
While the recently signed version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership doesn’t have the same impact that it did when the United States was going to be a part of it, due to the fact that they represent about 40% of the world’s economy, the deal is still appealing to countries and companies trying to figure out how to navigate in a world where the old trade rules no longer seem to apply.
“In a world that is so upside-down, especially for companies, companies will need to seek out growth and stability wherever they can. And that stability does not appear to be coming from the United States, where policy seems to shift at a moment’s notice,” said Deborah Elms, executive director of the Asian Trade Center,