The member nations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have published the finalized text of the new-look version of the agreement, bringing the broad-ranging free trade pact one step closer to becoming a reality.
Now known as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the deal was agreed upon by 11 nations - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam - in January, with plans in place for the agreement to be signed in Chile on March 8th.
The deal will reduce or eliminate trade tariffs in economies that together account for more than 13 per cent of global GDP, or a total of $10 trillion (€8.13 trillion). This remains a significant amount, albeit lower than the 40 per cent representation that would have been secured had the US not chosen to withdraw from the pact.
Since President Donald Trump's decision to renege on the deal last year, more than 20 provisions have been suspended or changed, including rules around intellectual property originally included in response to requests from the US. This could help assuage the concerns of certain governments and activists that the previous version of the deal would have led to rising costs for medicines, among other assets.
It is now expected that the new CPTPP deal will come into force at the end of 2018 or the first half of 2019, with the leaders of the 11 nations touting the potentially widespread economic benefits it could deliver.
The agreement could also potentially be expanded in future, as President Trump recently voiced a willingness to re-enter the partnership if terms favorable to the US could be agreed. The UK has also suggested TPP membership as a potential avenue through which it could re-establish global trade links after Brexit.