Trans-Pacific Partnership Aims to Reduce the Risk of Conflicts with China
Although US President Obama has yet to release details about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), its supporters and opponents are voicing out their opinions.
Philip Ellis, the president of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, who support the TPP, said, “TPP is a major win not only for the beef industry, but for all US export products, growing the economy while supporting jobs and investments in agriculture and technology.”
Meanwhile, Peter Maybarduk, the director of Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines Porgram, said, “TPP will hurt factory jobs and, by raising some medicine prices, contribute to preventable suffering and death.”
The TPP is the biggest trade pact in 20 years that encompasses about 40% of the world economy. Analysts say that although it is transformational, the economic benefits can only be felt after many years.
After about 5 years of talks, 12 countries from the Pacific Basin — Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei, Japan — made a landmark free-trade agreement on Monday that is said to reduce or even eliminate the tariffs from about 18,000 categories of goods.
This is the largest trade deal the US has negotiated so far since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Uruguay Round were signed more than 2 decades ago.
In an interview with US President Obama, he said, “the TPP includes the strongest commitments on labor and the environment of any trade agreement in history, and those commitments are enforceable, unlike past agreements.”
It supports one of the key legacy goals of the president before his term ends and gives substance to the rebalancing of the foreign policy to the Indo-Pacific region.
The US, as well as other members, aims to develop and implement rules-based approach to trade as China is rising in the region. The US also sees this as a strategy that will bind member nations closer with them, thereby reducing the risk of conflicts with China.