When we last met in Hanoi, Vietnam, on May 21, 2017, the ministers of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam reaffirmed the balanced outcome and the strategic and economic significance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement signed in Auckland, New Zealand, on February 4, 2016, (hereinafter referred to as “the TPP”) highlighting its principles and high standards as a way to promote regional economic integration, contribute to the economic growth prospects of its member countries and create new opportunities for workers, families, farmers, businesses and consumers.
In May, ministers tasked officials with engaging in a process of assessing options to bring the comprehensive, high-quality agreement into force expeditiously. Over the past several months, officials have worked to reach a balanced outcome that maintains the significant benefits of the TPP.
Ministers are pleased to announce that they have agreed on the core elements of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Ministers agreed to Annex I and II, which incorporate provisions of the TPP, with the exception of a limited set of provisions, which will be suspended. The annexes also incorporate a list of four specific items on which substantial progress was made but consensus must be achieved prior to signing.
Ministers agree that the CPTPP maintains the high standards, overall balance and integrity of the TPP while ensuring the commercial and other interests of all participants and preserving our inherent right to regulate, including the flexibility of the parties to set legislative and regulatory priorities. Ministers also affirm the right of each party to preserve, develop and implement its cultural policies. Ministers consider that the CPTPP reflects the desire of the parties to implement the TPP outcomes among themselves.
Ministers confirm that the legal instrument proposed for the CPTPP allows the participants to act decisively in a timely manner to advance their shared objectives. Ministers reaffirm that the CPTPP demonstrates their firm commitment to open markets, to combatting protectionism and to advancing regional economic integration.
Noting Article 6 of the CPTPP, ministers share the view that the scope of a review may extend to proposals to amend the CPTPP to reflect the circumstances concerning the status of the TPP.
Furthermore, ministers decided that all the TPP side letters signed among the 11 countries will be maintained in principle, unless the relevant parties decide otherwise.
Ministers tasked officials with continuing their technical work, including continuing their efforts toward finalizing those items on which consensus has not yet been achieved, as well as legal verification of the English text and translation to prepare finalized text for signature.
Ministers recognize that each country will need to pursue its own domestic processes, including public consultation, in advance of signing.