The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement among 12 countries bordering the Pacific Ocean, and is one of the largest free trade deals in the world. The agreement seeks to remove trade barriers and increase economic growth through the creation of a single market for goods and services, and a more transparent and predictable environment for trade and investment.
The TPP countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. These countries make up approximately 40% of the world`s GDP and one-third of global trade.
The negotiations for the TPP began in 2008 and were concluded in 2015. The agreement was signed by its member countries on February 4, 2016, but has not yet been ratified by all signatories.
The TPP includes provisions on a range of issues, including tariffs, intellectual property, state-owned enterprises, labor rights, and environmental standards. For instance, the agreement would eliminate or reduce tariffs on a wide range of goods, from agriculture to automotive products, making it easier and cheaper for businesses to import and export goods across the Pacific.
Additionally, the TPP includes strong intellectual property protections for copyrighted works, pharmaceuticals, and other products. This has been a controversial aspect of the agreement, as some critics argue that these provisions could restrict access to affordable medicines and undermine free speech.
The TPP also includes provisions aimed at leveling the playing field for workers, such as strengthened labor and environmental standards and prohibitions on forced labor and exploitative practices.
One of the most significant aspects of the TPP is its potential impact on the global trade landscape. The agreement excludes China, which is likely to further shift the economic balance of power in the region. The TPP also has the potential to create a new standard for trade agreements, as it includes measures that go beyond traditional trade issues, such as environmental standards and labor rights.
However, the TPP has also faced significant opposition, both in the United States and abroad. In the U.S., both major presidential candidates in the 2016 election opposed the agreement, with President Donald Trump citing concerns about job losses and unfair competition. In addition, civil society organizations have criticized the TPP`s potential impact on access to affordable medicines, workers` rights, and environmental protections.
In conclusion, the TPP is a major trade agreement that seeks to remove barriers to trade and create a more transparent and predictable environment for business in the Pacific region. While the agreement has the potential to boost economic growth and create new standards for trade agreements, it has also faced significant opposition and criticism. As the ratification process continues, it remains to be seen what the future holds for the TPP and its member countries.