Asia-Pacific trade ministers gathered in Hanoi to talk about the future of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Trade Pact, as many countries are now in doubt after the United States had withdrawn in January.
The TTP originally included 12 nations; Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States. It would be the biggest pact as it includes 40 per cent of the global economy. Unlike other trade pacts, it not only includes taking down trade barriers, but it will boost labour rights, environmental protections and Intellectual Property (IP) rights. It aims to prohibit human trafficking, including child labour and forced labour, with Malaysia already taking steps to stop human trafficking in their construction industry. All signatories must fulfill their obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which prohibits harmful fisheries and stop overfishing.
However on the 23rd of January, the United States had withdrawn from the TTP, and is looking for bilateral agreements with countries over multilateral agreements.
With the biggest economy leaving the pact, some countries feel the TTP will be meaningless without them. Now Australia, New Zealand and Japan hopes to save the pact, in fear of a new global era of protectionism. The TTP ministers are hoping to gather support from ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).