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TPP Negotiations Continue

by Leroy Baker,, New York

09 December 2010

Negotiating groups comprised of teams from the nine Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries are meeting in New Zealand throughout the week to discuss a range of trade and investment issues.

On Wednesday (December 9), working groups met to discuss intellectual property rights, investment, financial services, technical barriers to trade, telecommunications, e-commerce, and labor. According to a blog post by US Trade Representative Ron Kirk, "the groups continued to make progress in the negotiations and advanced work toward text of the TPP agreement."

The original TPP free trade agreement was signed by New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei in July 2005. President Obama confirmed in November last year that the United States was looking to join in an expanded agreement. Australia, Peru and Vietnam, as new prospective members, also participated in the first round of negotiations in Melbourne in March this year. The second round of talks was held in June in San Francisco and a further round during the APEC talks in Japan last month.

US President Barack Obama has made it clear that the US intends to conclude the TPP negotiations in order to create a “21st century” agreement, covering not only trade but also other issues, such as, for example, small business priorities, regulatory coherence, and other issues that reflect the way businesses operate. The TPP is being seen by some as a launch pad, concentrated solely on the Obama Administration’s intention to increase American exports to the Asia-Pacific and create employment in the US.

It is believed that the text of a final TPP agreement could be ready by the time the US hosts the APEC summit in November 2011.

TAGS: investment | small business | business | Brunei | Chile | commerce | intellectual property | financial services | Australia | Singapore | e-commerce | New Zealand | Peru | United States | trade | Japan | Vietnam | services

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