Eleven asia-pacific countries have just signed a trade agreement formerly known as the trans-pacific partnership.
Although the United States withdrew last year, the deal was saved by the remaining members, who signed it at a ceremony in Santiago, Chile.
Chile’s foreign minister, Horatio munoz, said the deal was a strong signal “against protectionist pressures and a world of open trade”.
Although the us pulled out of the deal, the deal covers a market of nearly 500 million people.
In the absence of the us, it has been renamed the trans-pacific partnership (CPTPP).
Despite the foreign adjectives, its supporters say this is important and could be a model for future trade deals.
What does it do?
Its main aim is to cut trade tariffs among member states.
But it also seeks to reduce so-called non-tariff measures, which pass regulations to create barriers to trade.
Some chapters aim to harmonize these rules, or at least make them transparent and fair.
There are also commitments to implement minimum Labour and environmental standards.
It also includes a controversial investor-state dispute settlement mechanism that allows companies to Sue governments when they believe that legal changes affect their profits.
Who’s in there?
Alphabetical order: Australia, brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The us is conspicuously absent.
President Donald trump withdrew his election promise in January last year to label the deal as a disaster for American workers.
Who are the winners and losers?
In short, the biggest winners are expected to be in Asia, while rich countries are not expected to get so much boost.
The peterson institute for international economics says that by 2030, Malaysia, Singapore, brunei and Vietnam will each grow more than 2 percent.
New Zealand, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Australia will all grow by 1% or less.
The same study suggests that the us could be a big loser, with gross domestic product rising 0.5 per cent ($131 billion).
In addition, it could lose $2 billion, as member states have incentives to trade with each other rather than with American companies.
But Donald trump is not the only one who is unconvinced.
The trade unions, particularly in richer countries such as Australia and Canada, say the deal could be a job killer or lower wages.
Some economists also argue that free trade agreements are manipulated by special interests, making their economic value more dubious.
Doesn’t America make sense?
Yes, but there is no doubt that without the participation of the world’s largest economy, the deal would be reduced.
The rest of the world’s economies account for more than 13 per cent of the global economy — a total of $10 trillion.
Deals with the us will account for 40 per cent.
The Australian prime minister Malcolm turnbull said the deal was set up to allow it to accept new members, possibly including the United States.
However, the revised deal fell by about 20 original provisions, mainly the us insistence, suggesting that the us re-entered the need for intense negotiations.
Although Donald trump has recorded his willingness to accept better deals, his broader hostility to trade agreements means it is a distant possibility.
Can Britain join?
Sure, why not? Even though most members are on the other side of the world, nothing is banned.
Australia has at least said it is open to the idea, and liam fox, the UK’s international trade minister, has expressed interest in joining after the UK completed its exit from the European Union.
But member states are unlikely to replace their eu trading partners immediately after brexit.
This is because the region is not the main destination for British exports.
Although developing new markets is a holistic view, it is unlikely to happen overnight.
According to a study by the Massachusetts institute of technology’s economic complexity observatory, the number of signatories was less than 8 per cent of UK exports last year.