U.S. ENGAGEMENT WITH THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP: ACTION TO DATE
On December 14, 2009, the Office of the United States Trade Representative formally notified Congress of the Obama Administration's intent to enter into negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a regional, Asia-Pacific trade agreement. This message to Congress followed announcements by the President and by Ambassador Ron Kirk that the United States would engage on the TPP, in close consultation with Congress, to determine how best to move forward on this initiative.
Announcement by President Barack Obama, November 14, 2009
On November 14, 2009, in Tokyo, Japan, President Obama announced that the United States would engage with the Trans-Pacific Partnership:
"The United States will also be engaging with the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries with the goal of shaping a regional agreement that will have broad-based membership and the high standards worthy of a 21st century trade agreement."
Statement by Ambassador Ron Kirk - November 14, 2009
That same day in Singapore, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk applauded the President's announcement and detailed key goals for Trans-Pacific Partnership engagement:
"This will be done in close consultation with the United States Congress and with stakeholders at home. We will seek with current and future TPP nations to shape a platform with the scope, coverage, and standards to successfully integrate the Asia-Pacific economies.
"As the Office of the United States Trade Representative approaches this effort, we recognize that American workers, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and service providers face different challenges today than they have in the past. Therefore, further engagement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership gives us the opportunity to address gaps in our current agreements, and to set the standard for 21st-century trade agreements going forward.
"A high-standard regional trade agreement under the TPP could help bring home to the American people the jobs and economic prosperity that are the promise of trade."
Consultation with Congress and with Stakeholders at Home
Ambassador Kirk began consulting with Congress shortly after the President's announcement, briefing the Chairs and Ranking Members of Committees with jurisdictions on trade, including the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees. The Administration continues to consult regularly with Congressional committees and stakeholders representing a wide range of interests.
The Administration also continues to regularly consult with the trade advisory committees, Trade Policy Staff Committee, and advisers representing states.
Inclusion of Malaysia in TPP Negotiations
In October 2010, Malaysia joined Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam as a party to the TPP negotiations. Ambassador Kirk notified Congress of the addition of Malaysia to the countries participating in the TPP negotiations on October 5, 2010.
Engagement with Trans-Pacific Partnership Members and Regional Partners
Four rounds of TPP negotiations were held in 2010, and five additional rounds are scheduled for 2011. Information about the outcomes of each future round will be posted following the conclusion of the round.
The first round of negotiations took place in Melbourne, Australia in March 2010.
The second round of negotiations took place in San Francisco, CA in June 2010.
The third round of negotiations took place in Brunei in October 2010.
The fourth round of negotiations took place in Auckland, New Zealand in December 2010.
The fifth round of negotiations will take place in Santiago, Chile during the week of February 14, 2011.
The sixth round of negotiations will take place in Singapore in late March 2011.