2018-06-12 22:16:28 UTC
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has infuriated leaders of 10 other
Asia-Pacific countries by pulling a sudden "no show" for the signing of a
lucrative trade deal.
Mr Trudeau becomes the second leader, behind Donald Trump, to desert the
Trans-Pacific Partnership but unlike the United States President his
motives and future intentions have not been publicly explained.
The 45-year-old Canadian had been due to enter a meeting in Da Nang,
Vietnam, where fellow leaders had waited patiently on him to seal the
"TPP-11" trade pact a deal involving Australia, Chile, New Zealand,
Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru and Vietnam.
But after a lengthy delay, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe entered the
room to announce the signing was off because Mr Trudeau would not attend.
An official familiar with the process summarised the frustration of all
leaders in the room, who represent economies with a combined $12 trillion
"The Canadians screwed everybody," he said.
Australia's Trade Minister Steve Ciobo was more diplomatic.
"This is a disappointing development," he said.
Confounding Mr Ciobo and the prime ministers and presidents was the fact
that Mr Trudeau's trade minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne, had
attended a meeting 24 hours earlier and had raised no objections with the
signing ceremony proceeding.