To take force, the agreement (a revised version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership), will need ratification by a majority of member countries.
In another round of protectionist measures seeking to save USA jobs and prevent the decline of domestic metals producers, Trump on Thursday signed a policy that imposes 25 percent tariffs on steel imports and 10 percent duties on aluminum exports, which will go into effect within the next 15 days, and cover all of the CPTPP bloc's member countries except Canada and Mexico.
Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum Thursday only a couple hours after 11 nations signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sweeping trade agreement that was once thought to be dead after Trump withdrew the United States from talks.
"Today we can say that free trade is alive", said Chile's Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz, who warned "there are protectionist pressures that could end in a trade war that no one really wants".
The revised agreement eliminates some requirements of the original TPP demanded by USA negotiators, including rules to ramp up intellectual property protection of pharmaceuticals.
In the absence of the United States, it has been renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
"It is our view that both CPTPP and RCEP will serve as building blocks towards a more open and fairer trade and investment regime in the Asia Pacific region", Mustapa said.
The 11 remaining countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have signed their revised version of the multilateral trade pact without the USA, reviving a deal set to slash tariffs and foster trade in a marketplace worth close to around US$13.5trn.
Compared to the original deal, lost trade opportunities will be felt most in Vietnam, Malaysia, and Japan, because these countries stood to gain the most from greater access to the US market given the scope of current trade agreements, the ratings agency said.
"It better links us to four of New Zealand's top 10 trading partners in Australia, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, which account for 30 per cent of New Zealand goods that are exported".
He said GrainGrowers strongly supported a trade liberalisation agenda which focused on addressing non-tariff barriers to trade such as sanitary and phytosanitary measures, as well as quotas and tariffs.
The 11 states form a market of 500 million people, greater than that of the EU.
For New Zealand's kiwifruit industry, the CPTPP will eliminate tariffs on its shipments to all 11 signatory nations, with single-desk marketer Zespri saying the move will have particular benefit for trade into Japan.
The EU considers itself to be caught in the crossfire of a trade dispute, in which Trump has mainly singled out China for being unfair in its commercial deals. "However, China has always been a staunch supporter of trade liberalization and an important participant in Asia-Pacific regional co-operation and economic integration", Wang Yi said at a news conference.