The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the one trade agreement under negotiation today in which the United States is participating. The case for the TPP is strong.
The 21 economies that comprise the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group — including three in North America — today account for two-thirds of the world’s population and GDP. Moreover, they will account for an outsized share of its economic growth for years to come. To create jobs and enhance our competitiveness, the United States needs to improve its access to those markets.
However, looking across the Pacific, the United States is already behind the eight ball. The U.S. share of Asia’s international trade has actually declined by 9% since 1990 as Asian nations have negotiated preferential trading agreements among themselves. Intra-Asian trade now accounts for half of the region’s total international commerce — up from just a quarter in 1985.
As Asian production chains have expanded to meet booming regional demand, U.S. suppliers of intermediate goods are being left behind. Many U.S. manufacturers and farmers are being displaced by local competitors or firms based in the EU or Australia, which are forging their own preferential trade deals across the region.
In short, Asian nations are designing a new architecture for trade in the global economy’s most dynamic region — threatening to draw “a line down the middle of the Pacific.”
The TPP is the best chance to ensure the United States stays in the game in Asia. Embracing nine countries today, Canada, Japan, and Mexico have signaled they hope to join, and others may accede over time.
Working closely with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the Chamber has led the business community’s advocacy for the inclusion of strong disciplines in the TPP trade agreement on intellectual property as well as path-breaking new rules on regulatory coherence, due process in antitrust enforcement, and state-owned enterprises. The opportunity to create a truly high-standard agreement is too important to miss.
- As nations across the Pacific clinch their own trade agreements that exclude the United States, the TPP represents a vital opportunity to ensure that American exporters have access to the world’s most dynamic economies.
- To reach the vision of a “21st century trade agreement,” the TPP negotiators must conclude a high-standard agreement with no products or sectors excluded.
- The TPP negotiations represent an opportunity to establish strong rules to protect intellectual property, overcome regulatory barriers to trade, and discipline the unfair trading practices of state-owned enterprises