The frustrated TPP and new challenges for the Global Governance of Trade and Investment
Working Paper #309
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was the first of a new generation of trade negotiations of a vast scope, known as megaregional agreements. TPP would have created the largest free trade area in the world, measured by its members’ joint Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the second largest, after the European Union (EU), by total trade among its members. The members of the TPP were Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. These countries cover around 38 percent of world GDP, 24 percent of global trade, and a market of 800 million of people.
TPP was expected to eliminate the vast majority of tariffs on the goods trade among its members, but also access to services markets, investment, and government procurement. It also set rules on matters that World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements have regulated to a limited extent—such as Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)—or not at all, such as e-commerce, State-owned enterprises, regulatory coherence, several labor and environmental matters, and some commitments to supporting small and medium enterprises.
The strategic and explicit aim of the United States in the TPP was to write the new rules for global trade and investment over the coming decades, not only in the trans-Pacific area, but potentially at the global level, particularly trying to counterbalance China`s influence in Asia Pacific, the most dynamic economic area in the world now and probably over the next decades.
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