The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) may not be dead in the water just yet, with Canada's trade minister denying that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau deliberately skipped a leaders' meeting in Vietnam.
"The substance is something all the TPP countries can agree on", said Motegi.
Trudeau said he didn't snub other TPP leaders when he skipped a planned meeting to discuss the deal, as there would have been little point in having such talks when there was still so much distance between the countries on certain chapters.
Japan has lobbied hard in recent days on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang to reach a ministerial agreement on "core elements" of a new trade pact to be implemented without Washington, as differences among the 11 remaining members have proved surmountable.
The US president said he was willing to strike trade deals with Pacific nations, but only on a country-to-country basis.
International Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne made an 11th hour visit to the hotel of Canadian reporters in Vietnam late Friday to tout the progress made on TPP despite the cancelled leaders meeting.
The 11 counties remaining in the trade pact rejected by President Donald Trump in January have been working to revise the deal to allow them to proceed without USA involvement.
The 11 counties remaining in the trade pact rejected by Trump in January have been working to revise the deal to allow them to proceed without US involvement.
This was another negotiating process that excluded the public - we are demanding that the Trudeau government release the details of this new agreement.
New Zealand Trade Minister David Parker said the nation's had returned to a position where the text of the deal was "stabilised".
Canada, which has the second-biggest economy among remaining TPP countries after Japan, had said it wanted to ensure an agreement that would protect jobs.
A report in Australia's Sydney Morning Herald said Trudeau "sabotaged" the talks at the last minute by failing to show up for the meeting.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been resurrected as the Comprehensive and Progressive TPP (CPTPP) minus 20 provisions, including those in the intellectual property segment, specifically biologics, patent term adjustment and copyrights, which are of particular interest to Malaysia.
Canadian media reported a defensive stance from Trudeau's contingent, who sought to characterise the no-show as a "misunderstanding" about the schedule and the intention to try to conclude a way forward on TPP at Da Nang. "We've done great work on a very important deal", Mr Ciobo said. China is not part of the TPP.
Trade ministers reconvened overnight while APEC leaders attended the traditional leaders' banquet, where Ardern said she exchanged pleasantries with Trump, including a "standard" handshake, a reference to the president's penchant for extended gripping with counterparts.
"We're in an easier place to try things out, to test policy sensitivities even if we don't get everybody around the table", Bollard said. "Although progress has been made clarifying those issues, there is still more work to be done to bring them to a finality".
Later, leaders of the 21 Apec economies agreed to address "unfair trade practices" and called for the removal of "market distorting subsidies", in contrast to communiques they have issued in the past.