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12 nations sign TPP deal amid protest

Thu 04 Feb 2016, 10:16:23
All 12 member nations signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in New Zealand even as the US struggles to get the pact ratified in Congress. 
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and US Trade Representative Mike Froman led the ceremonial signing at Auckland's Sky City Convention Centre. This is one of the biggest trade deals in history. The trade deal looks to facilitate investment between 12 countries across the Pacific Rim, which together account for about 40 per cent of the global economy. This includes Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia and Mexico. The TPP was agreed in October after years of negotiations and multiple missed deadlines. 
The US-led initiative is a key part of President Barack Obama's so-called pivot to Asia but has proved to be a controversial issue ahead of the US elections in November. Mr Obama has barely a year left on his term and his administration warns that the US economy will suffer if politicians don't ratify the TPP agreement.
US Trade Representative Michael Froman said the deal could add 100 billion dollars a year to US growth.
Mr. Froman said after five years of negotiation, signing the TPP is an important milestone in our efforts to set high-standard rules of the road in the Asia Pacific region and more generally, and to deliver an agreement that will benefit American workers, farmers and businesses.

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