The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced that the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam—concluded negotiations for a trade agreement in the Asia Pacific region.
As noted in the USTR release, the TPP includes 30 chapters covering trade and trade-related issues, beginning with trade in goods and continuing through customs and trade facilitation; sanitary and phytosanitary measures; technical barriers to trade; trade remedies; investment; services; electronic commerce; government procurement; intellectual property; labour; environment; ‘horizontal’ chapters meant to provide that TPP fulfils its potential for development, competitiveness, and inclusiveness; dispute settlement, exceptions, and institutional provisions.
There are five key or defining features of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP):
Comprehensive market access. The TPP eliminates or reduces tariff and non-tariff barriers across substantially all trade in goods and services, including goods and services trade and investment.
Regional approach to commitments. The TPP facilitates the development of production and supply chains, and seamless trade, enhancing efficiency 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 aim to provide 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 and take advantage of the agreement.
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.
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