Today, the Chief Negotiators from the United States and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) member countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam – began negotiations for the ninth round which takes place in Lima, Peru. Among them include cross-border trade in services, rules of origin, legal issues, investment, the so-called “horizontal” issues, and others. Negotiators are working to reach the broad outlines of an agreement by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Ministerial meeting in Honolulu in November.
Tomorrow, on-site stakeholders will be given the opportunity to present their views on the agreement directly to TPP negotiating teams. Approximately 190 stakeholders from a wide range of industries, civil societies, and other constituent groups will be attending.
Through the TPP, President Obama has directed U.S. negotiators to seek a 21st-century agreement that tackles old trade concerns in new ways, that deals with cross-cutting issues previously unaddressed in trade agreements, and that benefits from an unprecedented level of stakeholder input. In 2009, the East-West Center estimated that Asia already accounted for 27 percent of total U.S. jobs from exports. The International Monetary Fund also forecasts that the Asia-Pacific economies will grow faster than the world average through at least 2014. Expanding U.S. exports to the Asia-Pacific region can contribute significantly to further job growth and economic recovery for America’s working families.