On the 4th February, 2016, one of the most important free trade agreements in Australia's history began it's 2 ratification period. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is agreement that will cut over 18,000 tariffs between 12 pacific rim countries including: Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Chile, United States, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mexico, Canada and Japan.
According to the Federal Minister for Trade, Steven Ciobo, the deal will "help to drive regional economic integration... and provide good access for Australia exporters". It's importance is critical to Australia's economic survival, as without the agreement economics predict that a trade ware between the US and China would most likely drive Australia into a recession.
With the news that United States President Elect Donald Trump still is insisting the futility of the trade, is quite concerning to the economic future of the participating countries, who 8 months after signing the TPP have continued their processes for a ratification in February of 2018.
Despite the gravity of the situation, Ciobo has remained calm noting that the agreement is less than half way through it's initial processes of ratification. In this time, Australia and the other 10 countries will continue "taking the course of action... while we wait and see what the United States does in due course."
Source: ILCS Consulting