Will progress on the Transpacific Trade Partnership be announced at the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit in Beijing this week? The envisioned Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership currently would include the following: Likely Members Likely members of the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam. Possible Members Nations that have expressed interest in the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership are Taiwan, Philippines, Laos, Colombia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Bangladesh, India, South Korea and Thailand. Negotiations on this agreement began in 2002 and included only Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. Continuing issues include agriculture, intellectual property rights, services and investment opportunities across borders. According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the Trans-Pacific Partnership will
provide new market access for Made-in-America goods and services, strong and enforceable labor standards and environmental commitments, groundbreaking new rules on state-owned enterprises, a robust and balanced intellectual property rights framework, and a thriving digital economy. It will also include commitments that will improve the transparency and consistency of the regulatory environment to make it easier for small- and medium-sized businesses to operate across the region. By opening these new markets to American products, TPP will help ensure that we are not left behind by our competitors in a vital region of the world.
President Obama sees this agreement as part of the United States’ pivot to Asia. Combined with a similar agreement between USA and the EU this agreement would open markets for American products and results, ideally in increased prosperity across the board.
Progress on a Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership Although the current summit is not specifically about Trans-pacific trade it appears to be a key, behind the scenes, issue. The president is quoted as saying that momentum is building on a trans-Pacific trade deal. According to Reuters:
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday he sees momentum building for a Washington-backed free trade agreement in the Asia-Pacific, after arriving in Beijing on the first leg of an eight-day Asia tour. U.S officials have ruled out a major announcement on the ambitious 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Beijing, where Obama will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. But business leaders attending the APEC forum have been looking for signs of progress on the TPP, especially as China is pushing for a separate trade liberalization framework called the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).
Negotiation is the key to this agreement in which nations will give up the right to protect home industries, such as agriculture in Japan, in exchange for freer access to doing business in other economies. Other issues are allowing a greater degree of foreign ownership of businesses, which many nations see as an attack on their sovereignty. As these issues are dealt with a trans-Pacific partnership seems increasingly possible. Who Wins in a Trans-Pacific Partnership? President Obama is emphasizing a shared future with Asia in the current summit meeting.
President Obama sought to project U.S. strength abroad Monday as he opened a week-long trip to the Asia Pacific, touting a growing economy and American leadership at a gathering of regional nations that are also being wooed by China.
The push to create stronger economic ties is part of US foreign policy as the US economy gathers steam and the Chinese economy is cooling off. The Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership would be a boon for US agriculture, investors interested in Asia markets and intellectual property-related businesses that currently lose out when dealing in this region.