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Vietnam and other countries continue TPP negotiations

Representatives from eleven countries will continue negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Japan in September.

They expect to reach a final decision before a TPP summit to be held on the sideline of the APEC summit in Vietnam in November. 

Several countries have held meetings to clear obstacles for TPP implementation.

At a meeting in Australia in August, head of the Australian TPP negotiation delegation Justin Brown said that despite several hurdles, Australia is committed to working with the 10 other countries to make the deal mutually beneficial to its members. 

Head of the Japanese delegation Kazuyoshi Umemoto said the 11 countries have reached better mutual understanding. 

Some participants have suggested revising or freezing certain articles in the agreement, including those relating to state purchasing and patents on pharmaceuticals.

A TPP meeting in Japan in July created a new framework for the deal to keep it alive under the name “TPP 2.0” or “TPP-11”. 

The APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade Meeting (MRT) in Hanoi in May issued a joint statement by the TPP Trade Ministers. 

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said, “TPP Coordinating mechanisms will be implemented from now until the summit in November. Technical meetings and meetings of delegation chiefs will be organized by TPP members. We’ll discuss and make proposals and commitments for TPP’s future including a specific roadmap for TPP approval and enforcement.”

Minister Anh said Vietnam will take concrete actions to realize the TPP. “Vietnam pursues open and integration policy. 

The TPP is a free trade agreement that needs consensus among the members. 

The country has worked closely with the other members during the negotiation process to balance the TPP frameworks in the new situation.”

The TPP was signed in February, 2016, by 12 members. But US President Donald Trump decided to withdraw the US from the TPP after his taking office in January, 2017.  

The TPP now requires ratification by at least 6 member countries, with 85% of the combined GDP of the 12 original signatories, to come into force.