Trade ministers from 11 Pacific Rim countries signed a sweeping free trade agreement Thursday to streamline trade and slash tariffs on the same day that U.S. President Donald Trump was expected to formalize new tariffs on aluminum and steel to protect U.S. producers.
The United States will receive no preferential treatment if it decides it wants to rejoin the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership that Canada and its 10 countries were to sign Thursday, says a senior Canadian trade official.
Auto workers and manufacturers are rejecting assertions by Canada's trade minister that the county won major access for them into the highly protected Japanese market in the recently rebooted Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Canada's decision to sign onto a major multinational trade agreement without the United States added a dramatic new wrinkle to the NAFTA process Tuesday just as negotiators gathered for a crucial bargaining round.
Canada and the remaining members of the old Trans-Pacific Partnership agreed Tuesday to a revised trade agreement that will forge ahead without the United States, opening distant new markets at a time of uncertainty closer to home.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won parliamentary approval Friday for ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, despite U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's plan to withdraw from the 12-nation trade pact.