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Technical Barriers to Trade and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

Technical Barriers to Trade
Breaking down barriers to Made in America products and promoting government transparency.
Non-tariff trade barriers are among the biggest challenges facing exporters across the Asia-Pacific region. To ensure that Made in America products are treated fairly, it is important that standards-setting, conformity assessment procedures, and technical regulations are developed in a fair and transparent manner, with opportunities for “bottom-up” participation by a diverse range of stakeholders.
TPP provides an opportunity to eliminate unwarranted technical barriers to trade (TBT). Seizing this opportunity would make it easier for the United States to export into Asia-Pacific supply chains and to lead in innovation, while protecting the sovereign right of governments to engage in the full range of public interest regulation, including to protect public health and the environment.
  • Affirm and build upon WTO commitments on TBT.
  • Secure commitments to enhance transparency, reduce unnecessary testing and certification costs, and promote greater openness in standards development.
  • Encourage TPP governments to increase public participation in the development of technical regulations, standards, and conformity assessment procedures by government bodies.
  • Require TPP countries to increase the transparency of government decision making including by:
    • Publishing new technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures.
    • Offering opportunities for public comment.
    • Providing responses to substantive issues raised by comments.
  • Secure commitments aimed at enhancing cooperation in key sectors such as wine and distilled spirits, medical devices, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and information & communication technology.



Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
Eliminating unscientific discrimination against Made in America goods and ensuring that food safety standards are strong.
TPP provides an important opportunity to launch a race to the top, encouraging other countries to move toward our higher standards. This includes better standards for food safety. TPP will build on the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), which makes clear that every country has the right to determine for itself the level of protection it believes to be appropriate to protect food safety, and plant and animal health.
Our goal is to ensure that SPS measures will be developed and implemented in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner, based on science. TPP will also help expand our agricultural exports by addressing unscientific, discriminatory, and otherwise unwarranted barriers that are often designed to keep American goods out of the market. TPP will require no changes to existing U.S. food safety laws or regulations.
  • Affirm and build upon WTO commitments on SPS, making clear that countries determine for themselves the level of protection they believe to be appropriate to protect food safety, and plant and animal health.
  • Establish a mechanism for TPP countries to expeditiously resolve unwarranted barriers that block the export of U.S. food and agricultural products.
  • Establish new and enforceable rules to ensure that science-based SPS measures are developed and implemented in a transparent, predictable, and non-discriminatory manner.
  • Improve communication, consultation, and cooperation between governments to share information and work together on food safety issues in a transparent manner.
  • Allow TPP countries to take emergency measures when necessary.
  • Establish an on-going mechanism for improved dialogue and cooperation on addressing SPS and TBT issues.
  • Include tough customs provisions and provisions on rules of origin to help combat illegal transshipments from third countries, including those of seafood.