The Ministers of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries reached a conclusion to their negotiations on October 4, 2015. The TPP is a trade agreement between many Pacific Rim countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam – concerning various matters of economic policy. The result of these negotiations is a high-standard and comprehensive agreement that will promote economic growth, support the creation and retention of jobs, enhance innovation and productivity, raise living standards, reduce poverty, and promote transparency. The TPP sets a new standard for global trade while also targeting next-generation issues related to the Internet and the digital economy and the participation of state-owned enterprises in international trade and investment. The TPP also gives the opportunity of unifying many countries diverse by geography, language, history, size, and levels of development.
The Office of the United States Trade Representative outlines the five defining features of the TPP agreement including:
- Comprehensive market access: The TPP eliminates or reduces tariff and non-tariff barriers across substantially all trade in goods and services and covers the full spectrum of trade, including goods and services trade and investment, so as to create new opportunities and benefits for our businesses, workers, and consumers.
- Regional approach to commitments: The TPP facilitates the development of production and supply chains, and seamless trade, enhancing efficiency and supporting our goal of creating and supporting jobs, raising living standards, enhancing conservation efforts, and facilitating cross-border integration, as well as opening domestic markets.
- Addressing new trade challenges: The TPP promotes innovation, productivity, and competitiveness by addressing new issues, including the development of the digital economy, and the role of state-owned enterprises in the global economy.
- Inclusive trade: The TPP includes new elements that seek to ensure that economies at all levels of development and businesses of all sizes can benefit from trade. It includes commitments to help small- and medium-sized businesses understand the Agreement, take advantage of its opportunities, and bring their unique challenges to the attention of the TPP governments
- Platform for regional integration. The TPP is intended as a platform for regional economic integration and designed to include additional economies across the Asia-Pacific region.
The TPP consists of 30 chapters that cover trade and trade-related issues. To see a summary of the 30 chapters and for more information on the agreement, visit USTR’s “Summary of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.”