U.S.-affiliated islands opt out of Pacific free trade deal

BY GIFF JOHNSON

Marshall Islands Correspondent

MAJURO, Marshall Islands — The Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau were among six independent nations that did not join the long-anticipated signing of the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations Plus free trade agreement. Ten other Pacific nations did join in the ceremony the week of June 12 in Tonga.

The two biggest economies in the region — Papua New Guinea and Fiji — had earlier voiced opposition to the free trade deal with Australia and New Zealand, saying they would not sign. Earlier this month, Vanuatu also announced it . . .

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