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The United States in the Trans-Pacific Partnership
TPP Leaders at the APEC Summit in Japan, 2010, photo credit to Gobierno de Chile
On November 12, 2011, the Leaders of nine Trans-Pacific Partnership countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States – announced the achievement of the broad outlines of an ambitious, 21st-century Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that will enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, promote innovation, economic growth and development, and support the creation and retention of jobs.
INCREASING AMERICAN EXPORTS, SUPPORTING AMERICAN JOBS
President Obama announced in November 2009 the United States’ intention to participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to conclude an ambitious, next-generation, Asia-Pacific trade agreement that reflects U.S. economic priorities and values. Through this agreement, the Obama Administration is seeking to boost U.S. economic growth and support the creation and retention of high-quality American jobs by increasing exports in a region that includes some of the world’s most robust economies and that represents more than 40 percent of global trade. The Obama Administration, working in close partnership with Congress and with a wide range of stakeholders, is seeking to conclude a strong agreement that addresses the issues that U.S. businesses and workers are facing in the 21st century.
LEADING ASIA-PACIFIC REGIONAL INTEGRATION INITIATIVE
The United States is currently negotiating the TPP with eleven other like-minded countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam) that share a commitment to concluding a high-standard, ambitious agreement and to expanding the initial group to include additional countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. On April 24, 2013, the United States Trade Representative notified Congress of its intent to include Japan, the world’s third largest economy, in the TPP negotiations, pending the successful conclusion of the domestic procedures of each of the current members. Japan’s entry further distinguishes TPP as the most credible pathway to broader Asia-Pacific regional economic integration.
AMERICAN COMPETITIVENESS IN THE ASIA-PACIFIC
The TPP is the cornerstone of the Obama Administration’s economic policy in the Asia Pacific. The large and growing markets of the Asia-Pacific already are key destinations for U.S. manufactured goods, agricultural products, and services suppliers, and the TPP will further deepen this trade and investment. As a group, the TPP countries are the largest goods and services export market of the United States. U.S. goods exports to the broader Asia-Pacific totaled $942 billion in 2012, representing 61 percent of total U.S. goods exports. U.S. exports of agricultural products to the region totaled $106 billion in 2012, 75 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports. U.S. private services exports totaled $226 billion in 2011 (latest data available), 38 percent of total U.S. private services exports to the world. America’s small- and medium-sized enterprises alone exported $247 billion to the Asia-Pacific in 2011 (latest data available).
STATUS OF THE TPP NEGOTIATIONS
After 19 rounds, the 12 countries have made significant progress and the negotiations are on an accelerated track toward conclusion of an ambitious, comprehensive agreement envisioned by President Obama and the Leaders of the eleven other TPP countries.