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TPP Makes Progress On Tariff Packages

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

28 May 2013

During the 17th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, which were held in Lima, Peru, and ended on May 24, it was reported that its negotiators made progress across the agreement, including comprehensive tariff-reduction packages.

In their work during this 10-day round, negotiators were said to be guided by the plan of action agreed by the trade ministers from the United States and the other TPP countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – when they met last month on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Surabaya, Indonesia.

In line with that plan, and the direction of ministers to find pragmatic solutions to outstanding issues, the negotiators made progress across the agreement. The negotiating groups covering services, government procurement, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, trade remedies, labor, and dispute settlement moved their work forward significantly.

In particular, negotiators made further progress on building the comprehensive packages that will provide access to their respective markets for industrial, agricultural and textile and apparel products, services and investment, and government procurement. They moved forward in constructing tariff packages and rules of origin, reflecting input from stakeholders on how best to promote trade and regional integration that would benefit companies and their employees.

The TPP countries also successfully advanced work on the other legal texts, including technical barriers to trade, e-commerce, rules of origin, investment, financial services, intellectual property, transparency, competition, environment and other issues. On the more challenging issues of intellectual property, competition, and environment, negotiators had productive discussions and agreed on next steps to continue their work.

The 11 TPP countries discussed plans for integrating Japan smoothly into the TPP negotiations. Japan will join the negotiations following the successful completion of current members' respective domestic processes – hopefully during the course of the 18th round of TPP negotiations that will be held in Malaysia from July 15-25, 2013.

TAGS: tax | Brunei | Chile | commerce | law | tariffs | trade treaty | Australia | Mexico | Singapore | agreements | e-commerce | Canada | Malaysia | New Zealand | Peru | United States | import duty | standards | trade | Japan | Vietnam | services

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