Who: Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement
Where: Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre
What: Inked by Pacific Rim nations
When: 4 February 2016
All twelve Pacific Rim countries on 4 February 2016 signed the US-ledTrans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in New Zealand. This is one of the biggest trade deals in history.
The ceremonial signing event on the pact was led by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and US Trade Representative Mike Froman at Auckland’s Sky City Convention Centre.
The trade deal looks to facilitate investment between 12 countries across the Pacific Rim, which together account for about 40 percent of the global economy. The agreement was signed by Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam.
The TPP was agreed in October 2015 after five years of negotiations and multiple missed deadlines. The signing of the pact ends the process of negotiation but the member countries have two years to get approval on the deal at home.
The deal was signed even after the US is struggling to get the pact ratified in Congress.
The US-led initiative is a key part of President Barack Obama’s so-called pivot to Asia but has proved to be a controversial issue ahead of the US elections in November 2016. Obama has barely a year left on his term and his administration warns that the US economy will suffer if politicians don’t ratify the TPP agreement.