TPP nations 'have made good progress' on deal, no-show 'a misunderstanding'

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The 11 remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the USA withdrawal from the trade pact early this year decided on Friday to postpone the summit meeting to reach an official agreement.

"The leaders will discuss general contents for TPP co-operation, including the TPP Ministerial Meeting report, which features contents of the commitment package", Anh said, referring to the meeting of leaders of the 11 TPP countries expected to take place the same day. "At the same time we want to make sure we get the right deal", Canada's trade minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne, told Reuters.

"Our ministers are very much engaged and working hard on this issue of TPP 11".

Speaking separately, a Canadian official said the nations had "agreed to a framework towards the deal" with work programs to handle various outstanding issues. He said that he was "very happy" and an announcement would be made on Friday.

Parker said other countries in the room, including Australia, were surprised by Canada's non-appearance at the talks.

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Champagne, who blamed "a misunderstanding about the schedule" for Trudeau's absence, specifically mentioned the auto sector and cultural protection as areas needing more work.

Clear agreement on proceeding without the United States would be a boost for the principle of multilateral free trade pacts over the bilateral deal-making that Trump favours.

The positions of both Canada and Mexico are also complicated by the fact that they are renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) with the Trump administration.

China's President Xi Jinping, meanwhile, used the same forum to stress multilateralism and said globalization was an irreversible trend.

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