Ministers of the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries concluded trading negotiations on October 4th, completing one of the most ambitious multilateral trade deals of the last two decades and paving the way for lower tariffs and increased trade standardization throughout the Pacific Asia region. While the complete details of the 30 chapter agreement have not yet been released to the public, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) has released a summary of key changes of which exporters and importers of goods from Pacific Asia should be aware.

  • Tariffs throughout the TPP region will be reduced or eliminated for both agricultural and industrial goods and non-tariff trade barriers in both the goods and services sectors will be reduced to generate new opportunities and investment.
  • Rules of origin requirements will be standardized for cross-TPP trade.
  • TPP-wide standards of customs service transparency will be developed.
  • Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) will be reevaluated for their conformance with a TPP-peer standard and a public comment period will be mandated for any technical regulations.
  • TPP markets will be made more open to foreign investment, with certain investment enumerated industries remaining under the discretion of member countries.
  • Neutral and transparent international arbitration of investment disputes will be implemented with safeguards to protect members from frivolous claims.
  • Mechanisms for measuring the competitiveness of TPP will be implemented.
  • A special committee of small and medium-sized enterprises will be developed to ensure that they are able to benefit from the agreement via capacity building activities and export counseling.

With the multilateral agreement completed, TPP awaits ratification in the U.S. Congress before implementation can begin.

TPP Member Countries:  Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam.