Today at the eighth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations in Chicago, IL, chief negotiators from the nine TPP partner countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States – offered a mid-round briefing to many of the 250-plus stakeholders who have accepted USTR’s invitation to be on-site in Chicago for the talks, including many of the 57 stakeholder groups who made presentations directly to TPP negotiators and delegates at a USTR-sponsored stakeholder event on Saturday. Today, chief U.S. negotiator Barbara Weisel said that partners have continued to make progress on legal texts of the agreements as they seek to reach agreement on specific provisions, and have advanced market access discussions in a number of sectors. Weisel noted that “hard work” remains to be done as the effort continues to reach the broad outlines of an agreement in the coming months.
A number of negotiating groups are holding talks today on issues including goods market access, temporary entry, intellectual property rights, legal issues, technical barriers to trade, and capacity building. Negotiating groups that have already met and concluded their work for this week include financial services, investment, customs, telecommunications, textiles, government procurement, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and environment. Additional groups will begin or continue meetings before the Chicago round of talks concludes on September 15.
Early this morning, a number of U.S. trade officials and staff, along with members of delegations from trading partner countries, gathered to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. While viewing official ceremonies together, U.S. officials and their foreign counterparts observed moments of silence along with millions of Americans and others around the globe.