• The SAA paves the way for submitting the TPP implementing bill and final SAA within 30 days.
  • Proponents hope for a TPP ratification vote by the close of 2016.

The Office of the US Trade Representative on Friday, August 12 submitted to Congress the president’s draft Statement of Administration Action. The submission is necessary for US ratification and implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This transmission of the draft SAA begin the 30-day clock, after which the president may submit the TPP implementing bill together with the final SAA to Congress.

The purpose of the SAA is to set forth the executive actions proposed to implement US obligations under the TPP. As with other SAAs, the TPP statement represents the Administration’s view on the interpretation and application of the TPP in regard to US international obligations and US law. In addition, since Congress will approve the final SAA when it passes the TPP implementing bill, the statements contained in the SAA are persuasive authority in addressing the interpretation of the TPP’s provisions.

The draft SAA implements the TPP’s thirty chapters and specifies the provisions in the forthcoming TPP implementing legislation that are strictly necessary and appropriate to carry out the TPP. For many of the chapters, the draft SAA notes that no statutory or administrative changes will be required.

The draft SAA also affirms the special provisions negotiated in the TPP, such as automotive rules of origin and safeguard provisions. The draft SAA also contains notice and layover provisions for imposing and modifying the TPP’s tariff phase-out schedule and modifying TPP’s specific rules of origin.

As in past ratification of trade agreements, this SAA will launch substantive consultations between the White House and Congressional leadership, including a series of committee hearings on the Hill. Proponents therefore remain hopeful that following this process Congress will hold a TPP ratification vote by the end of 2016.