Danang, Vietnam: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he “stood up for Australia’s interests” in a meeting with Justin Trudeau after the Canadian leader sabotaged the ratification of a multibillion-dollar Pacific Rim trade deal at the last minute.
“Look, we had a very good and frank discussion,” Mr Turnbull said after Mr Trudeau failed to show up at a meeting that was set to officially revive an 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
“Clearly we were expecting to have 11 nations represented around the table but one didn’t show up so we were disappointed,” he said.
“The commitment to delivering more opportunities for exporters is ongoing,” he said.
“You get setbacks with trade negotiations, it happens all the time.”
Hours after Mr Trudeau’s snub, trade ministers from the 11 countries issued a statement on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit saying they had agreed to press ahead with the agreement US President Donald Trump rejected within days of him taking office.
The statement said “core elements” of the deal had been reached but more work remained to be done.
It said a “limited set of provisions” from the original deal would be suspended, adding further technical work was needed on four areas that still needed consensus “to prepare finalised text for signature.”
But negotiators said Mr Trudeau’s move had made it impossible for the agreement to be ratified during the summit and it could take months or years for negotiations to…