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Trans-Pacific free-trade pact 'old-fashioned': ex-WTO chief

Published on May 28, 2014 1:17 PM
Protesters raise their fists and chant slogans during a rally against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal in front of the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo on May 13, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) - Plans for a vast trans-Pacific free trade pact including the United States and Australia were "good" but "old-fashioned", former World Trade Organisation (WTO) chief Pascal Lamy said Wednesday.

Lamy, who stood down from the WTO in September, also said that cutting tariffs was no longer the force it once was in advancing trade, in comments to Fairfax newspapers.

"The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement Australia is negotiating with the US and 10 other countries, it's a good, old-fashioned agreement," Lamy told The Age.

''It's about goods, services, government procurement, a bit of intellectual property, but it's the last of the big old-style agreements." The Trans-Pacific Partnership has 12 prospective members - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam - with trade ministers this month agreeing to intensify talks on the deal.

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