The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
Some Critical Concerns
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) involves twelve Pacific Rim economies of varying sizes and structures. Although often portrayed as a free trade agreement, the TPPA can, at best, be expected to deliver paltry overall growth gains from trade liberalization. The much higher figures touted by TPPA advocates are largely due to dubious ‘non-trade measures’, most of which have been rejected by the US International Trade Commission (ITC). Nevertheless, the ITC expects significant growth due to greatly increased foreign direct investment, which is exaggerated. The TPPA also brings costs and risks to developing countries threatening their development prospects as well as the public interest, as illustrated by claims for Malaysia, financial liberalization, intellectual property and investor-state dispute settlement provisions. Politically driven by the Obama administration, the TPPA has undermined progress on multilateral trade negotiations as well as ASEAN and ASEAN+ regional economic cooperation.
About the Author
Jomo Kwame Sundaram
Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development
Jomo Kwame Sundaram has been Assistant Director General and Coordinator for Economic and Social Development (ADG-ES), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations since 2012. He was Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development in the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) from 2005 until 2012, and Research Coordinator for the G24 Intergovernmental Group on International Monetary Affairs and Development from 2006 until 2012. He has received several honours and awards for his work including the 2007 Wassily Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought.