11 nations to sign Pacific trade pact as US plans tariffs

  • Canada’s Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne, Chile’s Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz and New Zealand’s Trade Minister David Parker, pose for a photograpghers before a signing ceremony of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, CP-TPP, in Santiago, Chile, Thursday, March 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

SANTIAGO, Chile — Trade ministers from 11 Pacific Rim countries are set to sign a sweeping agreement to streamline trade and slash tariffs just as U.S. President Donald Trump is preparing to formalize new tariffs on aluminum and steel to protect U.S. producers.

The deal to be signed Thursday in the Chilean capital is an outgrowth of the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Trump pulled the U.S. out of last year.

Many feared the agreement would not prosper without its most influential country. But the remaining 11 members pressed ahead, saying it shows resolve against protectionism.

The pact includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

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