Getting from here to there : stitching together goods agreements in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
Date of Issue2012
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks are a good test case for examining what happens when sweeping, grand rhetoric meets political and economic realities. In these ongoing negotiations, officals began the talks in late 2009 and early 2010 with repeated pronouncements about the need to open markets "with no exceptions" to the other members. These statements applied particularly to trade in goods. This paper examines the extent to which negotiators were able to meet these aspirational goals after 11 rounds of meetings in two years, Although the Americans were most vocal in their insistence on the high quality nature of the proposed agreement in goods trade, it has been the demands of the United States that have most limited the liberalisation actually present in the draft agreement. The lack of market access has been compunded by the approaches used by the Americans to negotiate over market opening in goods. The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement might yet end up being a high-quality, 21st century agreement, but market access in goods will not be at the cutting edge, but rather, bringing up the rear.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Economic development
RSIS Working Papers ; 235/12