Politics

TPP: agreement between the United States and eleven countries

Les douze ministres chargés du commerce lors des négociations pour le traité de partenariat transpacifique, à Atlanta, le 1er octobre.


This is the culmination of discussions initiated in 2008, which opens the door to One of the most important treaties ever signed free trade. The tentative agreement must now be ratified by the parliaments of each country.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) gave birth to a tentative agreement on Monday, October 5, but it was not without difficulty. Representatives of twelve countries (USA, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia and New Zealand) have managed to find a compromise at the end of a marathon meeting of more than five days, held in Atlanta (USA).

Cut the pear in two

The suspense was extended until Monday morning because, inter alia, a dispute on the issue of patent protection in the field of biotechnology drugs. Australia, as well as Chile and Peru, strongly opposed to the protection sector US companies enjoy. They have twelve years before a competitor can copy and sell the drug cheaper. A period of only five years in other countries.

It was therefore issue split the two by extending the period to eight years. This provision was also very contested by non-governmental organizations, which consider that this will lead to trump drug prices.

Another bone of contention that had to be resolved:. The opening of the Canadian dairy market , Japanese and US imports from New Zealand and Australia.

Finally, negotiators faced Canadian and Mexican reticence on a further opening of the North American market in the parts sector automotive spare. One area that would benefit primarily to Japanese manufacturers.

Remove 18,000 duties

The issue of TPP is multiple. First, by harmonizing standards and lowering tariffs, it is supposed to boost trade between the twelve countries of both sides of the Pacific. They account for about two-fifths of world trade. On standards, the treaty tends to align with Western standards the concept of intellectual property. There is also question of the recognition of an open Internet, including in Vietnam, where the communist regime was opposed so far. Any treaty last component concerns the prohibition of wildlife trafficking and certain environmental abuse.

The agreement provides for the disappearance of 18 000 tariffs were subject to which US exports towards eleven partners in industries as diverse as mechanical industry, information technology, chemistry and agricultural products. In addition, a chapter is devoted to the raising of standards in terms of labor law in countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

Counterbalancing Chinese influence

On Diplomatically, for the US, the TPP is the culmination of the strategy called the “pivot”, which is to strengthen trade ties with countries in the Asia Pacific to counter the growing influence of China. From this point of view, this is a success for Barack Obama, who has not counted its efforts with its business partners to reach agreement.

Finally, this agreement is likely to generate momentum to accelerate negotiations transatlantic treaty between Europe and the United States (TTIP) . These, which only began in 2013, advancing with measured steps, the United States are concentrated so far on the success of the TPP.

For the latter, the process is however not yet complete. Regarding the United States, it must pass the obstacle of a vote by Congress. This should be facilitated by the process of the “Trade Promotion Authority” or “Fast Track”. Adopted by Congress this summer, the process allows US lawmakers to vote on the text block, thus avoiding a lengthy adoption process, article by article. Barack Obama was given the green light to trigger this process thanks to the support of Republicans, traditionally pro-free trade, the camp Democrat president being more dispersed on the issue.

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