Trans-Pacific trade bloc agree to roll out food, medicine supplies amid pandemic
Ministers from a trans-Pacific trade bloc in a joint statement have pledged to roll out food and medicine supplies amid the COVID-19 pandemic in an attempt to cushion its further blow on Wednesday.
In the virtual meeting, which was hosted by Mexico, the 11 members expressed to counter protectionism and support for modernizing the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), comprises of Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
The pandemic has exacerbated a trend towards protectionism on the global stage, with a number of European countries taking steps to favor domestic investments and ongoing saber-rattling between the United States and China.
The joint statement, issued by the Mexican economy ministry, said that the opening and connecting of supply chains would play “an instrumental role in avoiding food shortages and ensuring global food security.”
The members pledged to “facilitate the flow of essential goods and services during the pandemic, including medical supplies and equipment.”