STEVEN CIOBO: Well thanks, all for coming. Look, it's disappointing that we have a situation now where, unfortunately, TPP leaders have had to cancel the meeting at the last-minute request from Canada, from Prime Minister Trudeau, to not have that meeting take place. In that context, it hasn't been possible in this APEC meeting to move forward with the recommendation from all Trade Ministers in the TPP-11, which was for a substantial conclusion of the TPP-11 as agreed by all Trade Ministers last night. This is a disappointing development. There is of course still opportunity for us to continue discussions to try to work our way through the last remaining issues that Canada raised. But, at this point in time, it would appear, at the request of Canada, that we've been unable to have leaders achieve a resolution today.

JOURNALIST: Minister what happened between your meeting and the leaders’ meeting?

STEVEN CIOBO: Well as I've indicated previously, all Trade Ministers, that is all 11 of us, had an agreement in terms of substantial conclusion to the agreement that we recommended to leaders and just immediately prior to the scheduled meeting of leaders, Canada's raised a number of issues they wanted resolved, which unfortunately meant the cancellation of the meeting today

JOURNALIST: How would you describe Canada's behaviour?

JOURNALIST: Why would Japan not have made it?

STEVEN CIOBO: Well, we continue to be optimistic and try to work through unresolved issues that Canada's now raised. It is of course, disappointing that this has happened. This is a very good deal. I'm hopeful that we'll be able to build on the great work that all Trade Ministers have done to get us to this point, but we need to take seriously the matters that Canada's raised.

JOURNALIST: So, the pull out at the eleventh hour sounds like gesture politics, they’ve done their dirty on you, haven't they?

STEVEN CIOBO: Well, I'm very optimistic. As Trade Minister you need to remain focused on the positives that can come from trade. I'm very optimistic that we can continue to work through. It's not the first time that the TPP has faced some challenges, hopefully it will be the last time. We will continue to have discussions and engage meetings all around all of the issues.

JOURNALIST: Will the Prime Minister have the opportunity to speak to Mr. Trudeau at some point, at the summit about these last-minute changes?

STEVEN CIOBO: I understand that Prime Minister Turnbull and Prime Minister Trudeau have a scheduled bilateral, so I'm sure they'll have the chance to talk through those issues.

JOURNALIST: Would it be viable to have a TPP-10?

STEVEN CIOBO: Well, I want to make sure we have as many parties as possible. Obviously, the value from the TPP comes from having it as broad-based as possible, a comprehensive deal. All 11 Trade Ministers agreed last evening to a substantial conclusion to the agreement. It was a very high-quality deal, a great deal, one that maintained high standards and would have seen terrific benefits flowing for all 11 countries. We've got to deal realistically, with the matters that were raised just immediately prior to the leaders’ meeting that was scheduled today, and we intend to do so.

JOURNALIST: What were those issues, what are they?

STEVEN CIOBO: Well, they weren't raised directly by Canada with Australia, so I'm not in a position to enlighten you about specifically what those issues were. They took place between Canada and the co-chair, Prime Minister Abe, but we'll get to the bottom of all that in due course.

JOURNALIST: What type of things were…

STEVEN CIOBO: Like I said, I wasn't in the meeting, so I can't share.

JOURNALIST: Was it embarrassing sir, all of the other leaders to be sitting at that table and have Canada just be a no-show?

STEVEN CIOBO: Well, it's less than ideal to have every leader and Trade Minister from the other 10 countries sitting around the table and not have Canada there, that's not an ideal outcome.

JOURNALIST: When did they inform you exactly? 'Cause the meeting was supposed to start at 1:30, and you're all sitting around the table waiting, so –

STEVEN CIOBO: Well, as I said just immediately prior to the meeting of leaders on the TPP, Canada raised a number of issues. That meant that we were unable to take forward the recommendation from all 11 Trade Ministers, for there to be an agreement on the TPP 11, but we'll continue to work through these issues and take seriously the matters that Canada's raised.

JOURNALIST: Just so we've got a picture of this, every leader from every other country was waiting and Canada just didn't show up?


JOURNALIST: As I understand it, Canada didn't raise any issues at the meeting last night, but they had all those issues today. What changed? Do you think there was any pressure put on Canada?

STEVEN CIOBO: I made the point that we had an agreement between all 11 Trade Ministers last evening. It was on the basis of the substantial conclusion of the agreement, among all 11 Trade Ministers, that we jointly recommended. A position to leaders that would have been taken to today's meeting, but unfortunately, with Canada's decision and the matter's that were raised immediately prior to that leaders meeting, we weren't able to take that forward.

JOURNALIST: Has the United States intervened?

STEVEN CIOBO: Well, as I said, I wasn't present in the meeting where Canada raised the matters with co-chair Japan, with Prime Minister Abe so, I can't shed any light on what happened there.

JOURNALIST: Minister, when's the next opportunity, do you think, to have another go?

STEVEN CIOBO: Well look, as I said this is not the first time the TPP has faced some challenges. We'll work through this and we have, of course additional opportunities in the future for us to reconvene, to keep working through these issues and hopefully we'll be able to find a pathway forward that accommodates the requests from Canada.

JOURNALIST: But it's over for this weekend?

STEVEN CIOBO: Absolutely.

JOURNALIST: Can you just give us an impression of when you had the meeting with the Canadian Trade Minister, what his approach was to the deal?

STEVEN CIOBO: Well we had an agreement between all 11 trade ministers last night. That agreement was for a substantial conclusion around the TPP-11. On that basis we made a recommendation to leaders to take the TPP-11 forward. Unfortunately, in between that meeting and the meeting of leaders today Prime Minister Trudeau raised a number of issues, which meant that we were unable to take the leaders' meeting forward today.

JOURNALIST: Anything quite positive about the agreement reached?

STEVEN CIOBO: The Canadian Trade Minister?


STEVEN CIOBO: We had an agreement among all 11 Trade Ministers, which we formalised last night and put a recommendation to leaders.

JOURNALIST: Thank you.

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