11 countries officially sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement despite U.S. absence

The 11 states form a market of 500 million people, greater than that of the European Union's single market.

The deal had been on life support after the United States' withdrawal but was resuscitated in January following lobbying from Japan and Australia.

The People's Democratic Movement party of Chile said via Twitter the trade deal will be disastrous for small and medium-sized businesses and will give disproportionate power to multinational corporations that can, under the soon to be signed accord, sue individual member states in worldwide courts.

Japan, which spearheaded the 11-member TPP talks, is expected to play a similar role in steering the pact's expansion.

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

The deal's completion comes a year after Mr Trump pulled the United States out of the original agreement on his first day in office.

Washington's absence leaves an open path for China - which remains excluded from the deal - as it negotiates separately with Asian countries and New Zealand.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and leaders of other TPP nations are about to sign the deal.

More news: Police looking for Raiders linebacker Aldon Smith following domestic violence incident

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

The CPTPP will go into effect 60 days after a majority of the signatories domestically ratify the agreement.

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.

Trump, who abandoned TPP because he felt his administration could negotiate better deals one on one, told CNBC earlier this year that he would be open to returning to the agreement if it were "substantially better".

The signing ceremony on Thursday will be attended by Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Peru, Chile and Brunei, and, to a certain extent, it will be an award to their tenacity.

The Council of Canadians is anxious, however, that with Mercosur, the Liberal government is again rushing into another corporate agreement, without a debate on the needs and wishes of the public, Dey said.

"By keeping the TPP alive at a time when many wrote it off, Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and I ensured the door remains open for the United States and, indeed, other countries to join in the future", Mr Turnbull told a business summit on Wednesday.

Trump vowed on Thursday to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, although he said there would be exemptions for NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada.

  • Adam Floyd