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Mexico Joins Trans-Pacific Partnership

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Prime Minister Julia Gillard alongside Trade and Competitiveness Minister Craig Emerson have welcomed Mexico as the newest member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Announced at the G20 Leaders Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico will become the 10th party involved with the economic and trade integration agreement, aimed at creating a free trade area in Asia-Pacific. Speaking from Los Cabos, the Prime Minister said Mexico was an important partner to have at the table in the development of a modern, comprehensive trade agreement across Asia and the Pacific. Minister Emerson has also welcomed the latest addition to the partnership, saying Australia is looking forward to working with Mexico on this ambitious project. Emerson also said the expansion of the TPP group will translate into greater opportunities for Australian businesses and farmers to engage with the fastest-growing region on earth. Said to now account for 27 percent of global GDP, the TPP was introduced at the November 2011 APEC Summit in Hawaii where its nine other parties first joined; Australia, Brunei, Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States. The two day summit brings together leaders from around the world including US President Barack Obama and EU Commission Chief Jose Manuel Barroso to discuss current global issues, with reports leaders have focused predominately on Europe’s debt crisis and its current financial state. However Gillard’s input has not been so soundly received as the Australian Prime Minister has faced a major backlash from EU leaders who believe Gillard was ‘lecturing’ them about good economic management, after making a speech suggesting European countries should follow a similar economic model to Australia. According to Australian School of Business Economist Tim Harcourt, Australia has a good economic story and Gillard was right to share it. "Unlike Europe, Australia brought down a budget for prosperity not austerity and the Prime Minister is right to warn the Europeans of the dangers of austerity economics which could harm the whole global economy, including Australia." Harcourt said. It wasn’t all bad press for Gillard with the PM announcing Australia would donate $20 million to the World Bank program, as well as contribute to a multimillion dollar global food security fund aimed at helping the food shortage crisis in third world countries. Others issues said to be addressed in Mexico include; the global economy, food security and the environment. Yesterday at the summit Gillard announced Australia would donate $20 million to the World Bank program, as well as contribute to a multimillion dollar global food security fund aimed at helping the food shortage crisis in third world countries. The summit ends tomorrow, with Russia to be host next year in June.

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