On Monday, the United States and eleven other countries announced an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multi-lateral trade accord. Baker & McKenzie Partner Kevin O’Brien, who brings more than 30 years of experience advising on intellectual property matters and international trade law, provides insight on the implications of the accord.

“The TPP accord represents a sweeping agreement among its members covering areas such as market access, supply chain management, intellectual property, labor standards, workers rights and environmental protections.

For U.S. producers and exporters, reduced tariffs on thousands of different goods will offer immense potential savings, which when combined with harmonized supply chain provisions, will allow goods to flow much more quickly and easily across borders.

As United States Trade Representative Froman noted, the agreement imposes the strongest labor protections of any agreement to date. While ultimate Congressional approval will likely be an issue for 2016, companies should be proactive in understanding the details to ensure they maximize potential benefits and avoid associated obstacles.”