The 11 remaining countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership (the TPP11) are hoping to announce progress on a path forward to proceed without the United States on November 11 on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam.
TPP11 trade ministers met November 8-9 to attempt to reach consensus, with Japan taking an active coordinating role. Trade officials from the TPP11 met in Urayasu, Japan, the week of October 31 to discuss specific rules and commitments to “suspend” from the agreement given the lack of U.S. participation and have reportedly exchanged proposals to suspend rules in many areas, including on intellectual property, investor-state dispute settlement, labor and the environment, as well as in several market access areas. It is likely that many of the commitments insisted on by the United States during the negotiations are among those under discussion for suspension. Any rule suspensions could be accompanied by mechanisms to reactivate the rules if and when the United States eventually rejoins the agreement.
Though the United States is not a party to the agreement, multinational companies with investments in the remaining TPP11 countries could still see benefits from TPP’s commitments on digital trade, regulatory cooperation, state-owned enterprises, and intellectual property should the agreement be implemented, though much will depend on which provisions make it into the ultimate agreement. An announcement by the TPP11 later this week on the margins of the APEC Leaders Meeting may therefore have commercially meaningful impacts for companies.