The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
What is the TPP?
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) grew from the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (P4), an agreement originally created in 2005 among Brunei, Chile, Singapore, and New Zealand. The United States signaled interest in joining an expanded and comprehensive P4 agreement in 2008, along with several other countries; this agreement eventually turned into the TPP. The TPP negotiations began in 2010 and concluded in October 2015. Participants currently include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. These countries account for 40% of world trade.
TPP countries collectively represent one of the largest U.S. trading partners, with $178 billion in U.S. services exports and a surplus of $80 billion dollars in 2014. They account for 25% of all U.S. services exports and 34% of the U.S. services trade surplus. It is estimated that TPP will increase U.S. services exports by $149 billion, which in turn will support 850,000 U.S. jobs.
What are TPP Objectives?
The main goal of the TPP is to incorporate all negotiating participants under one free trade agreement which eliminates tariffs and non-tariff barriers to goods, services, and agriculture. Perhaps most significantly, the TPP would be the first free trade agreement (FTA) with an e-commerce chapter, creating a precedent for future trade negotiations, including the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The TPP concluded negotiations on October 5, 2015. To view the entire text of the agreement, you can visit the U.S. Trade Representative TPP website.
The 2015 Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) mandated the President must establish a 90-day window between when a trade deal is finalized and when the President can officially sign the deal. This allows time for Congress and the public to analyze and debate the agreement before a vote. The President notified Congress of Intent to Enter into Agreement after releasing the text in October 2015, which began the 90 day clock before he can sign the bill.
The TPP has been sent to the U.S. Congress to be ratified. As of November 2016 Congressional leaders have stated there will not be a TPP vote in the lame-duck session before the end of year. With the transition to a new U.S. Administration, the ratification of TPP in the near future is stll being decided.
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