TPP Countries Agree on ‘Core Elements’ After Trudeau Skips Meeting

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

Just as hopes for a renegotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership deal were fading, 11 member nations say they have found enough common ground on “core elements” to move toward a final agreement.

As CBC News reports, Canada is bragging that the other nations have agreed with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s demands that the renegotiated treaty include references to fighting climate change and recognizing labor rights.

Trudeau was a no-show at a Friday meeting with other TPP leaders. Representatives from the 11 countries are still at work on a final agreement in principle.

The trade deal has to be renegotiated due to the departure in January of the United States. President Donald Trump campaigned against American membership in the treaty and consistently described it as a bad deal for America.

The TPP drama is unfolding as leaders prepare to sit down for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

On Friday, Australian news reports blamed Canada for “sabotaging” a trade deal, quoting unnamed sources as saying “There were a lot of unhappy leaders left sitting there” when Trudeau did not show up for the expected meeting.

Trudeau had warned earlier in the week that Canada would not be forced into a bad deal.

Speculation that Canada would withdraw from the treaty over Trudeau’s issues created a firestorm on social media Friday morning. Opposition Conservative Member of Parliament Lisa Raitt, a former cabinet minister in the past Conservative government of Stephen Harper, warned that Trudeau’s intransigence was dividing his own cabinet.

“Trudeau’s walk-out is deeply embarrassing for Trade Minister Franois-Philippe Champagne, who has agreed to the deal,” Raitt tweeted Friday.

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