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Vietnam, Member Countries Sign TPP in New Zealand

Representatives from the 12 nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have officially signed the landmark trade agreement.

The deal was inked yesterday in Auckland, New Zealand, as planned. Delegates from Vietnam, Peru, the United States, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and Chile came together to finalize the agreement, reports the BBC.

While this is a giant step forward for the TPP, which was solidified in October, it's not 100% complete yet. Now, the 12 member countries will have two years to ratify the pact exactly as-is within their respective governments.

Once the agreement goes into effect, the TPP will encompass roughly 40% of the global economy. As the least developed nation in the pact, media outlets have already proclaimed Vietnam the “winner” of the TPP, noting the deal's potential to boost the national economy, however opponents of the deal have also voiced concern that the TPP fuels corporate greed rather than benefitting individual citizens.

For now, the main focus of each member country will be pushing the TPP paperwork through their own governments; whether this comes to fruition by 2018 remains to be seen.

[Photo via VTV]

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