Following the signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with 10 other Asia Pacific countries on March 8, Malaysia sends a strong signal of the country's commitment towards an open and liberal trading system, in light of recent protectionist sentiment which is prevalent in a number of countries.
"They see it as an important statement in support of free trade given the actions they're seeing from the United States".
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the event as a "historic day in the cause of trade liberalisation".
The U.S. wasn't the only country that had reservations about previous versions of the deal.
Now that the US will officially add a 25 percent tariff on foreign steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum, the country could end up in an even worse position on trade. While U.S. beef faces 38.5 percent tariffs in Japan, for example, beef from Australia, New Zealand and Canada will not.
"Today, we can proudly conclude this process, sending a strong message to the worldwide community that open markets, economic integration and global cooperation are the best tools for creating economic opportunities and prosperity", Reuters quoted him as saying.
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He also said the country will target a growth rate of around 6.5% in 2018 that would lift 10 million people out of poverty. He also said that China plans to shift 2.8 million people living in rural areas to urban settlements.
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The other two Latin American countries, Mexico and Peru, will also improve their access to countries on the other side of the Pacific, such as Vietnam and Malaysia.
"TPP is far reaching, when we talk about commerce, investment, intellectual property and services", Lorena Oyarzun at the University of Chile said.
All 11 remaining members of the TPP excluding the U.S.is party to this document. "It's about ensuring we diversify Australia's export markets to safeguard the future of our exporters", Mr Ciobo told AAP.
The 11 countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. President Donald Trump fulfilled an election promise by pulling out in January a year ago, labeling the deal a disaster for American workers.
Former US President Barack Obama had pushed for the TPP as a means to counter a rising China.
Other positives for businesses will include the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism, although that has been watered down since the TPP. The original deal, signed by 12 countries including the United States in February 2016, could not have been implemented without the United States as it required six countries, accounting for at least 85 percent of the original 12 signatories' combined GDP, to complete domestic procedures to bring it into force.