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. priorities and values. Through this agreement, we are seeking to boost U.S. economic growth and support the creation and retention of high-quality jobs by increasing American exports to 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 has been working in close partnership with Congress and has made unprecedented efforts to consult with a wide range of stakeholders, including by inviting them to participate in outreach events at each negotiating round.
Leading Asia-Pacific Regional Integration Initiative
The TPP is the most credible pathway to broader Asia-Pacific regional economic integration. The nine like-minded countries share a commitment to concluding a high-standard agreement and the objective of expanding the initial group to additional countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. On June 18 and 19, the TPP countries announced that they had reached consensus on the addition of Mexico and Canada into the negotiations. The Office of the United States Trade Representative will soon notify Congress of its intent to include Mexico and Canada in the ongoing TPP negotiations. This notification will trigger a 90-day consultation period with Congress. Japan also has expressed interest in joining the TPP negotiations. Consultations with the Japanese government are ongoing.
American Competitiveness in the Asia-Pacific
The TPP is a key element of the Obama Administration’s strategy to make U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region a top priority. The huge and growing markets of the Asia-Pacific already are key destinations for U.S. manufactured goods, agricultural products, and services. As a group, the current TPP countries are the fourth largest goods and services export market of the United States. With the addition of Mexico and Canada, the TPP countries will be by far the largest export market for the United States. U.S. goods exports to the broader Asia-Pacific totaled $895 billion in 2011, representing 60 percent of total U.S. goods exports. U.S. exports of agricultural products to the region totaled $98 billion in 2011, 72 percent of total U.S. agricultural exports. U.S. private services exports totaled $205 billion in 2010 (latest data available), 39 percent of total U.S. private services exports to the world.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership Framework
The United States and its TPP partners are working to craft a high-standard agreement that addresses new and emerging trade issues and 21st-century challenges. After twelve rounds of negotiations, the nine countries have made significant progress on the agreement. The next round of negotiations will take place in San Diego, California, July 2- 10. Information on stakeholder events for this round is available at ustr.gov/tpp. The nine countries are seeking to conclude an ambitious agreement expeditiously as directed by President Obama and the TPP Leaders during their meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii in November 2011.