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Eleven nations sign sweeping TPP trade deal without U.S.

Staff Writer |
Eleven countries including Japan and Canada signed a landmark Asia-Pacific trade agreement without the United States in what one minister called a powerful signal against protectionism and trade wars.

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The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will reduce tariffs in countries that together amount to more than 13 percent of the global economy - a total of $10 trillion in gross domestic product. With the United States, it would have represented 40 percent.

Heraldo Munoz, Chile’s minister of foreign affairs, said the agreement was a strong signal “against protectionist pressures, in favor of a world open to trade, without unilateral sanctions and without the threat of trade wars.”

In Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to press ahead with a plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that other nations and the International Monetary Fund said could start a global trade war.

Even without the United States, the deal will span a market of nearly 500 million people, making it one of the world’s largest trade agreements, according to Chilean and Canadian trade statistics.

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