Apparel Sourcing Intelligence - Worldwide

Still unclear who’s coming to jilted TPP partners’ future planning meeting in Chile

It remains unclear which countries are attending the meeting called for March 14-15 in Viña del Mar, Chile, to discuss options for trade co-operation after US withdrawal from the TPP.

The Chilean government still says the twelve TPP negotiators (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States  and Vietnam) have been invited to a  “High-level Dialogue on Integration Initiatives in the Asia-Pacific Region: Challenges and Opportunities”, as has Colombia, the one non-TPP negotiator in the Pacific Alliance.

But nothing coming from the Trump Administration indicates any interest in such a meeting: the US has certainly made it clear that it simply wants no involvement with multilateral trade deals. Nothing in the published agenda gives any real clue about what will be discussed.

Most observers believe the meeting will be an opportunity for China to continue to promote its views on faster progress towards creating a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). But the pace of RCEP talks so far gives no indication any substantial partnership is likely to emerge from the idea.

No doubt, though,  jaw-jaw is better than war-war.