Canada chasing trade deal with South American block after signing new TPP

The steel and aluminum industry in Quebec are waiting to see if the U.S. will be imposing tariffs on their exports

The 11 remaining states represent 500 million people and 13.5% of the world's gross domestic product - greater than the European Union.

The deal had been on life support after Trump pulled the United States out of the original deal when he became president.

Even without the United States, the deal will span a market of almost 500 million people, making it one of the globe's three largest trade agreements, according to Chilean and Canadian trade statistics.

The argy-bargy over America's proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium is set to briefly take a back seat as 11 nations sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

Still another fear was recently voiced in New Zealand: Perhaps the USA will return to the agreement.

In May 2017, foreign trade ministers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) signatory countries agreed to assess the options to reach a new agreement following the United States' withdrawal.

The revised agreement eliminates some requirements of the original TPP demanded by US negotiators, including rules to ramp up intellectual property protection of pharmaceuticals.

"It will be to the benefit of all the partners", Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said about the CPTPP at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.

Yves-Thomas Dorval President of the CPQ

The TTP-11, as the treaty is also known, has several detractors within civil society, but experts and government from all signing countries agree that it is one of the most audacious and beneficial deals reached in the world.

He also explained the CPTPP will enter into force once ratified by at least six of the 11 countries.

Minister of International Trade Francois-Philippe Champagne rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, March 2, 2018.

Representatives from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore gave their signatures to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) accord in Santiago on Thursday. However, New Zealand's trade minister said that was unlikely in the near term, while Japan has said altering the agreement now would be very hard.

"The real worry has to be not only that our government has rolled over on this one", she added, "but that it and the other 10 will roll over to the demands of the Trump administration if they want to re-enter".

Coming in the same week that Trump risked a trade war over his decision to introduce tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, the deal is seen by some members as striking a blow against protectionism.

After ratification, talks will begin on bringing other countries into the CPTPP.

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