Negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
The only major current trade negotiation that the U.S. is engaged in at this time is the negotiation for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement with eight other nations in Asia and the Americas. And Canada and Mexico are expected to join the negotiations in December. If successful, the resulting free trade area would include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, as well as the U.S. With multilateral negotiations in the WTO now stalled, the TPP offers the best opportunity for additional trade liberalization. More importantly, if done right, this agreement could provide a template for future WTO negotiations and for a broad agreement with the 21 member nations in Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, a group of 21 Pacific Rim countries that includes China, Indonesia and Russia.
Negotiators made progress in the most recent round of negotiations held in San Diego from July 2 to 10, although there are a number of controversial issues that remain. The next negotiating round is scheduled for September 6 to 15 in Leesburg, Virginia, although it is unlikely that negotiators will resolve the critical issues until after the U.S. presidential election.
Click here to view a background paper on the TPP and key issues.