A large trade deal comprised of 11 nations became official on Sunday, December 30th after years of back-and-forth talks.
A Straits Times Dot Com article says the first six countries to ratify the pact are now enjoying steep cuts in tariffs. Consumers in countries like Singapore and Japan will benefit from the pact, called the Comprehensive and Progress Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. For example, a Japanese retailer has already cut the price of Australian beef at its supermarkets.
Australia’s Prime Minister, Simon Birmingham, says the opportunities for his country are extensive. “They range from more Victorian wine and cheese being enjoyed on the slopes of Canada to more New South Wales prime beef being served up in Japanese restaurants.” Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister says the country’s businesses will enjoy a lot more access to markets across the region. In a statement, the Minister says, “We’re looking forward to the rest of the participants ratifying the agreement so the full force of the pact can go into effect.”
The trade deal was led into existence by Japan. It contains all but just 22 of the more than 1,000 original provisions in place before the U.S. pulled out in the early days of the Trump Administration.