Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership
Leaders of TPP member states and prospective member states at a TPP summit in 2010.
|Type||Free trade agreement|
|Drafted||3 June 2005|
|Signed||18 July 2005|
|Location||Wellington, New Zealand|
|Effective||28 May 2006 (New Zealand and Singapore); 12 July 2006 (Brunei); 8 November 2006 (Chile)|
|Parties||4 (Brunei, Chile, Singapore and New Zealand)|
|Depositary||Government of New Zealand|
|Languages||English and Spanish, in event of conflict English prevails|
|This article is outdated. (February 2012)|
The 2005 Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4) is a free trade agreement among Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore. It aims to further liberalise the economies of the Asia-Pacific region.
Since 2010, negotiations have been taking place for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposal for a significantly expanded version of TPSEP. The TPP is a proposed free trade agreement under negotiation by (as of December 2012) Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. Japan has expressed its desire to become a negotiating partner, but not yet joined negotiations as the TPP became a major issue in Japan's 2012 election. South Korea was asked by the US to consider joining the TPP but declined for the time being.
The TPP is ostensibly intended to be a "high-standard" agreement specifically aimed at emerging trade issues in the 21st century. These ongoing negotiations have drawn criticism and protest from the public, advocacy groups, and elected officials, in part due to the secrecy of the negotiations, the expansive scope of the agreement, and a number of controversial clauses in drafts leaked to the public.
Membership and accession 
The negotiations initially included three countries (Chile, New Zealand and Singapore), and Brunei subsequently joined the agreement. The original TPSEP agreement contains an accession clause and affirms the members' "commitment to encourage the accession to this Agreement by other economies."
In January 2008 the United States agreed to enter into talks with the P4 members regarding liberalisation of trade in financial services. Then, on 22 September 2008, US Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab announced that the United States would begin negotiations with the P4 countries to join the TPP, with the first round of talks scheduled for early 2009.
In November 2008, Australia, Vietnam, and Peru announced that they would be joining the P4 trade bloc. In October 2010, Malaysia announced that it had also joined the TPP negotiations.
In June 2012, it was announced that Canada and Mexico would join TPP negotiations. Mexico's interest in joining was initially met with concern among TPP negotiators about its customs policies.
Two years earlier, Canada became an observer in the TPP talks, and expressed interest in officially joining, but was not committed to join, purportedly because the United States and New Zealand blocked it due to concerns over Canadian agricultural policy—specifically dairy—and intellectual property rights protection. Several pro-business and internationalist Canadian media outlets raised concerns about this as a missed opportunity. In a feature in the Financial Post, former Canadian trade negotiator Peter Clark claimed that the Harper Government had been strategically outmaneuvered by the Obama Administration, Wendy Dobson and Diana Kuzmanovic for The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, argued for the economic necessity of the TPP to Canada. Embassy warned that Canada's position in APEC could be compromised by being excluded from both the US-oriented TPP and the proposed China-oriented ASEAN +3 trade agreement (or the broader Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia).
|Brunei||Original Signatory||June 2005|
|Chile||Original Signatory||June 2005|
|New Zealand||Original Signatory||June 2005|
|Singapore||Original Signatory||June 2005|
|United States||Negotiating||February 2008|
Potential members 
South Korea expressed interest in joining in November 2010, and was officially invited to join the TPP negotiating rounds by the United States after the successful conclusion of the US-South Korea FTA in late December. The country already has bilateral trade agreements with other TPP members, thus making any further multilateral TPP negotiation less complicated.
Japan joined as an observer in the TPP discussions that took place 13–14 November 2010, on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Yokohama. Japan is regarded as a potential future member but it would have to open its agricultural market in a way it refused to do in previous trade negotiations such as the Doha Development Round. Autos and insurance are also issues of contention. On 11 November 2011, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda announced his nation's interest in joining the treaty negotiations. However, as of mid-2012, Japan was still only an observer, and had not yet formally entered the negotiations. Japan declared its intent to join the TPP negotiations on 13 March 2013 and an official announcement was made by Prime Minister Shinzō Abe on 15 March 2013 .
On 20 November 2012, Thailand's government announced that it wishes to join the Trans-Pacific partnership negotiations during a visit by President of the United States Barack Obama and if it follows the process for Canada and Mexico, Thailand will be in the extraordinary position of having to accept any existing agreed text, sight unseen.
The TPSEP was previously known as the Pacific Three Closer Economic Partnership (P3-CEP), its negotiations launched on the sidelines of the 2002 APEC Leaders' Meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico, by Prime Ministers Helen Clark of New Zealand, Goh Chok Tong of Singapore and Chilean President Ricardo Lagos. Brunei first took part as a full negotiating party in the fifth round of talks in April 2005, after which the trade bloc became known as the Pacific-4 (P4). Although all original and negotiating parties are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the TPSEP and TPP are not APEC initiatives. However, the TPP is considered to be a pathfinder for the proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), an APEC initiative.
The original agreement was concluded by Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore on 3 June 2005, and entered into force on 28 May 2006 for New Zealand and Singapore, 12 July 2006 for Brunei, and 8 November 2006 for Chile. It is a comprehensive free trade agreement, affecting trade in goods, rules of origin, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade in services, intellectual property, government procurement and competition policy. Among other things, it called for reduction by 90 percent of all tariffs between member countries by 1 January 2006, and reduction of all trade tariffs to zero by the year 2015.
On the last day of the 2010 APEC summit, leaders of the nine negotiating countries endorsed the proposal advanced by United States president Barack Obama that set a target for settlement of negotiations by the next APEC summit in November 2011. However, negotiations have continued through 2012 and into 2013.
After the inauguration of Barack Obama in January 2009, the anticipated March 2009 negotiations were postponed. However, in his first trip to Asia in November 2009, president Obama reaffirmed the United States' commitment to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and on 14 December 2009, new United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk notified Congress that president Obama planned to enter TPP negotiations "with the objective of shaping a high-standard, broad-based regional pact".
- 1st round: 15–19 March 2010, Melbourne, Australia
- 2nd round: 14–18 June 2010, San Francisco, USA
- 3rd round: 5–8 October 2010, Brunei
- 4th round: 6–10 December 2010, Auckland, New Zealand
- 5th round: 14–18 February 2011, Santiago, Chile
- 6th round: 24 March – 1 April 2011, Singapore
- 7th round: 15–24 June 2011, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
- 8th round: 6–15 September 2011, Chicago, USA
- 9th round: 22–29 October 2011, Lima, Peru
- 10th round: 5–9 December 2011, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- 11th round: 2–9 March 2012, Melbourne, Australia
- 12th round: 8–18 May 2012, Dallas, USA
- 13th round: 2–10 July 2012. San Diego, USA
- 14th round: 6–15 September 2012, Leesburg, Virginia, USA
- 15th round: 3–12 December 2012, Auckland, New Zealand
- 16th round: 4–13 March 2013 Singapore
- 17th round: 15–24 May 2013, Lima, Peru
In the United States, the majority of free trade agreements are implemented as congressional-executive agreements. Unlike treaties, congressional-executive agreements require a majority of the House and Senate to pass. Under "Trade Promotion Authority" (TPA), established by the Trade Act of 1974, Fast track (trade) Congress authorizes the President to negotiate “free trade agreements... if they are approved by both houses in a bill enacted into public law and other statutory conditions are met.” In early 2012, the Obama administration indicated that a requirement for the conclusion of TPP negotiations is the renewal of "fast track" Trade Promotion Authority. If "fast track" is renewed, then the normal treaty ratification and implementation procedure would be bypassed, and the United States Congress would instead be required to introduce and vote on an administration-authored bill for implementing the TPP with minimal debate and no amendments, with the entire process taking no more than 90 days.
Anti-globalization advocates accuse the TPP of going far beyond the realm of tariff reduction and trade promotion, granting unprecedented power to corporations and infringing upon consumer, labour, and environmental interests.
One widely republished article claims the TPP is "a wish list of the 1%" and that "of the 26 chapters under negotiation, only a few have to do directly with trade. The other chapters enshrine new rights and privileges for major corporations while weakening the power of nation states to oppose them."
Intellectual property provisions 
The proposals have been accused of being excessively restrictive, providing intellectual property restraints beyond those in the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement and Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). A coalition of non-profit organisations, businesses and over 100,000 people have spoken out through a campaign called "Stop The Trap".
A number of United States Congresspeople, including Senator Bernard Sanders and Representatives Henry Waxman, Sander M. Levin, John Conyers, Jim McDermott, John Lewis, Pete Stark, Charles B. Rangel, Earl Blumenauer, and Lloyd Doggett, have expressed concerns about the effect the TPP requirements would have on access to medicine. In particular, they are concerned that the TPP focuses on protecting intellectual property to the detriment of efforts to provide access to affordable medicine in the developing world, particularly Vietnam, going against the foreign policy goals of the Obama administration and previous administrations. Additionally, they worry that the TPP would not be flexible enough to accommodate existing non-discriminatory drug reimbursement programs and the diverse health systems of member countries.
At a public forum on 6 July 2011, legal experts in New Zealand presented their concerns that the agreement could undermine law regarding Māori culture, genetic modification, copyright, and remove the subsidised medicine New Zealanders have access to through Pharmac.
Opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership say US corporations are hoping to weaken Pharmac's ability to get inexpensive, generic medicines by forcing New Zealand to pay for brand name drugs. Doctors and organisations like Medicins Sans Frontieres have also expressed concern. The New Zealand Government denies the claims, Trade Negotiations Minister Tim Groser saying opponents of the deal are "fools" who are "trying to "wreck this agreement".
Ken Akamatsu, creator of Love Hina and Mahou Sensei Negima!, expressed concern the agreement could decimate the derivative dōjinshi (self-published) works prevalent in Japan. Akamatsu argues that the TPP "would destroy derivative dōjinshi. And as a result, the power of the entire manga industry would also diminish." Kensaku Fukui, a lawyer and a Nihon University professor, expressed concerns that the TPP could allow companies to restrict or stop imports and exports of intellectual property, such as licensed merchandise. For example, IP holders could restrict or stop importers from shipping merchandise such as DVDs and other related goods related to an anime or manga property into one country to protect local distribution of licensed merchandise already in the country via local licensors.
At a NicoNico live seminar called How Would TPP Change the Net and Copyrights? An In-Depth Examination: From Extending Copyright Terms to Changing the Law to Allow Unilateral Enforcement and Statutory Damages, artist Kazuhiko Hachiya warned that cosplay could also fall under the TPP, and such an agreement could give law enforcement officials broad interpretive authority in dictating how people could dress up. Critics also have derided the agreement could also harm Japanese culture, where some segments have developed through parody works.
Moreover, on 19 September 2012, Suzanne Nossel, executive director for Amnesty International USA, stated that TPP negotiations should show the public their cards and the draft text of the agreement. She also felt apprehensive about the freedom of speech and health. This is because TPP has the risk of restraining development and production of generic medicine by protecting patents.
Negotiation secrecy 
|This section requires expansion with: reports of secrecy-related controversy prior to May 2012. (May 2012)|
In May 2012, a group of 30 legal scholars, critical of the Office of the United States Trade Representative's "biased and closed" TPP negotiation process and proposed intellectual property-related provisions, publicly called upon Ambassador Kirk to uphold democratic ideals by reversing the "dialing back" of stakeholder participation and to release negotiating texts for public scrutiny. The law professors claimed that leaked documents show that the USTR is "pushing numerous standards that [...] could require changes in current U.S. statutory law" and that the proposal is "manifestly unbalanced—it predominantly proposes increases in proprietor rights, with no effort to expand the limitations and exceptions to such rights that are needed in the U.S. and abroad to serve the public interest."
The group claimed that the negotiations excluded stakeholders such as "consumers, libraries, students, health advocacy or patient groups, or others users of intellectual property" and that it only offered "minimal representation of other affected businesses, such as generic drug manufacturers or Internet service providers."
Kirk initially responded that he was "strongly offended by the assertion that our process has been non-transparent and lacked public participation" and that it was actually far more transparent than the negotiations for prior free trade agreements.
This prompted further criticism from the academic group that free-trade agreement negotiations, notorious for their secrecy, are "the wrong standard for assessing the legitimacy of the TPP intellectual property chapter negotiations. This is because the IP chapter in the TPP, like ACTA, is not a trade agreement. It does not adjust tariffs and quotas—it sets new international limits on domestic regulation, regardless of whether such regulation discriminates against, or even affects, trade." The group further reiterated its claim that the secretive process is antithetical to the ideals of democracy, and is "no way to engender trust and faith in international law making with such a broad impact." One critic pointed out that despite's Kirk's claim of transparency in the process, public-interest stakeholders have been completely excluded. Another accused Kirk of sidestepping the issue of transparency, and pointed out that transparency is less about the degree of public input, and more about "the flow of information the other way—information about the workings of government being visible to the people it is supposed to represent."
In a subsequent interview with Reuters, Kirk defended the secrecy, saying he believes the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) has conducted "the most engaged and transparent process as we possibly could," but that "some measure of discretion and confidentiality" are needed "to preserve negotiating strength and to encourage our partners to be willing to put issues on the table they may not otherwise." He dismissed the "tension" as natural and noted that when the Free Trade Area of the Americas drafts were released, negotiators were subsequently unable to reach a final agreement.
On 23 May 2012, United States Senator Ron Wyden introduced S. 3225, proposed legislation that would require the Office of the United States Trade Representative to disclose its TPP documents to all members of Congress. Wyden said the bill clarifies the intent of the 2002 legislation which was supposed to increase Congressional access to information about USTR activity, but which, according to Wyden, is being incorrectly interpreted by the USTR as justification to excessively limit such access. Wyden asserted:
|“||The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark as to the substance of the TPP negotiations, while representatives of U.S. corporations—like Halliburton, Chevron, PHRMA, Comcast, and the Motion Picture Association of America—are being consulted and made privy to details of the agreement. [...] More than two months after receiving the proper security credentials, my staff is still barred from viewing the details of the proposals that USTR is advancing. We hear that the process by which TPP is being negotiated has been a model of transparency. I disagree with that statement.||”|
Investor–state arbitration 
The leaked draft treaty also contains Investor-state dispute settlement, which permits foreign investors who made an investment in the territory of a Party in accordance with its laws to submit a claim to arbitration under the arbitral rules of either International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes or United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. Tribunals are composed of three arbitrators. One is appointed by the investor, one by the state, and the third is usually chosen by agreement between the parties or their appointed arbitrators or selected by the appointing authority, depending on the procedural rules applicable to the dispute. The tribunal shall subject to the consent of the disputing parties, conduct hearings open to the public. The tribunal will make available to the public documents relating to the dispute such as the notice of intent, the notice of arbitrationn, pleadings, memorials, minutes or transcripts of the hearings of the tribunal, where available; orders, awards and decisions of the tribunal.
Substantive standards of protection include regulation of direct and indirect expropriation, minimum standard of treatment, national treatment, most favoured nation treatment. Non-discriminatory regulatory actions by a Party that are designed and applied to achieve legitimate public welfare objectives, such as the protection of public health, safety, and the environment do not constitute violation of the treaty.
Critics of the investment protection regime argue that traditional investment treaty standards are incompatible with environmental law, human rights protection, and public welfare regulation, meaning that TPP will be used to force states to lower standards for e.g., environmental and workers protection, or be sued for damages.
A poll conducted in December 2012 showed 64 percent of New Zealanders thought trade agreements that allow corporations to sue governments, such as the TPP, should be rejected.
On 7 July 2012, from 200 – 300 people marched in a "Pots and Pans" protest march against TPP and the secret negotiations to the hotel where the negotiations were being held. There was an alternative "People's Conference" held in the evening during the week.
In September 2012 Internet freedom organisation OpenMedia and other groups launched the OpenTheTPP campaign. The website includes a tool that collects citizens comments they then project inside the TPP meetings for officials to see.
The online petition website, Avaaz, has a petition against the TPP. As of 27 November 2012, the petition has gained over 720,000 signatures. 
In New Zealand a coalition of people concerned about the TPP have formed a group called It's Our Future aimed to raise public awareness about, and resistance against the TPP prior to the Auckland round of negotiations from 3 – 12 December 2012.
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||The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (December 2012)|
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