Brunei Darussalam


As the trade conflict between the United States and China continues, three free trade agreements are pressing ahead, including– the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), soon to enter into force, the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (JEEPA), recently signed and which represents 30% of global economic output, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an agreement that includes both India and China and comprises the largest trading block in the region.

On May 23, 2018, after approval by the Mexican Senate on April 24, 2018, the Diario Oficial de la Federación (Federal Official Gazette) published President Peña’s Decree approving the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Treaty, made in Santiago, Chile on March 8, 2018, as well as the four parallel agreements negotiated in the framework of its subscription.

In April, President Trump indicated that his administration would reconsider the US re-joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), after withdrawing from it last year.

Following the United States’ withdrawal from the treaty, the remaining 11 signatory states, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam nevertheless proceeded to negotiate a new trade agreement which is now finalised and referred to as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

On January 23, 2018, the Canadian Prime Minister announced that the 11 countries still committed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, now renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), have agreed to an agreement after talks in Japan this week. Trade ministers will attend a signing ceremony in Chile in March.  Details will be announced shortly.  Certain provisions will be suspended for now with the thought that a future US administration might join the…

At the recent Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (“APEC“) Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, the 11 remaining countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (“TPP11“) took a significant step forward to finalize a new agreement now referred to as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (“CPTPP“).  Media reports were mixed as some outlets reported that there was an agreement in principle while others reported that Canada was not ready to sign on.  However, the end result is an impressive draft agreement in principle on most of the existing terms with some key exceptions and a few remaining issues from Canada’s perspective.  To its credit, Japan has been leading the effort to move forward with the CPTPP in hopes of the United States rejoining the agreement at some point in the future.

Ministers and Vice Ministers from the Trans-Pacific Partnership signatory countries issued the following Statement:

21 May 2017. Ha Noi, Viet Nam – Ministers and Vice Ministers from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam met today to discuss the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers Responsible for Trade.