Andres Oppenheimer: Obama’s TPP may reshape world trade

2/6/2016 Miami Herald

The formal signing last week of the world’s biggest trade and investment agreement — the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP — went almost unnoticed in most countries, but it could soon start to change the world’s economic and political maps.

One of the reasons why the 12-country trade agreement’s Thursday signing ceremony in New Zealand drew little world attention was that neither President Barack Obama nor other leaders of participating countries attended the event, and chose to send their trade ministers instead…

…“The TPP does not aim to create divisions within Latin America, although it will accentuate the contrast between TPP member countries’ pursuit of export-oriented growth strategies, and the more closed economic models of countries such as Brazil and Venezuela,” says Christopher Wilson, of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Mexico Institute.


What does agreement on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) mean?

10/7/2015 Wilson Center

By Diana Villiers Negroponte, Mexico Institute Advisory Board Member

On October 4, the 12 trading partners in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) reached agreement after tough negotiations lasting 7 years. [1] The final hurdles on intellectual property protection for pharmaceuticals, market access for dairy products and rules of origin for automobiles were resolved at the recent meeting in Atlanta.  (In 2008, President Bush joined the trade negotiations which had started with 3 nations in 2002). The sense of relief is notable, but TTP must still be approved by the U.S. Congress. All 12 countries need U.S. leadership on this major trade agreement and all made concessions to keep the U.S. in the game.  For the United States to reject TPP because of pressure from the tobacco, pharmaceutical or any other specific industrial group would indicate American reluctance to play a leadership role in the world.  The 11 other parties to TPP are watching the U.S. Congress closely. Will it accept this agreement impacting countries that account for 40% of global GDP and 26% of world trade, or will it withdraw into domestic partisan fights and ignore the global impact?

Read more…

Press Release: Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Concluded

10/5/2015 Secretaría de Economía

2000px-SE_logo_2012.svgToday, Mexican Secretary of Economy Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal, along with his Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) country counterparts, have announced in Atlanta, Georgia, the conclusion of the ambitious TPP negotiations.

The completion of the negotiations, the Secretary stated, was made possible by the political will, pragmatism and flexibility displayed by all parties involved in the negotiation.

The Secretary of Economy signaled that Mexico and its 11 TPP counterparts reached this historic agreement with a high level of ambition, breadth, and standards never before reached. The TPP will be, without a doubt, a model for future trade negotiations, placing Mexico at the vanguard of these issues.

For Mexico, this trade agreement is of utmost relevance, as TPP opens new opportunities for Mexican businesses in 6 markets of the Asia-Pacific (Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam), the region that will register the most economic growth over the next 25 years.

Additionally, TPP will strengthen value-chain integration among Mexico, the United States, and Canada, contributing to the goal of making North America the most competitive region in the world. TPP will also consolidate Mexico’s preferential market access in Chile and Peru, priority trading partners of Mexico in Latin America, while deepening preferential access to the Japanese market.

Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal emphasized that as a result of difficult negotiations, Mexico achieved adequate balance between market access and sensitivities in areas such as automotive-auto parts, textiles-apparel, and agricultural products, including rice, meat products, and the dairy industry.

Guajardo acknowledged that the conclusion of these negotiations was made possible due to the support and participation of all of the departments and federal agencies involved, as well as ongoing consultations with representatives from across Mexico’s productive sectors, through what has become known as the “side-room” consultation process.

The 11 countries forming TPP represent nearly three fourths (72%) of Mexico’s overall foreign trade and the origin for over half (55%) of total investment received by Mexico since 1999.

Translated by: The Mexico Institute 

Read the full press release in Spanish here. 

Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Deal Is Reached

10/5/2015 New York Times

Via U.S. State Department - William Ng
Via State Department             William Ng

ATLANTA — The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations on Monday agreed to the largest regional trade accord in history, a potentially precedent-setting model for global commerce and worker standards that would tie together 40 percent of the world’s economy, from Canada and Chile to Japan and Australia.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership still faces months of debate in Congress and will inject a new flash point into both parties’ presidential contests.

But the accord — a product of nearly eight years of negotiations, including five days of round-the-clock sessions here — is a potentially legacy-making achievement for President Obama, and the capstone for his foreign policy “pivot” toward closer relations with fast-growing eastern Asia, after years of American preoccupation with the Middle East and North Africa.

Read more…

U.S. Trade Negotiator Sees ‘Important Progress’ in TPP Talks

finance-market_data09/10/14 Bloomberg

Talks between 12 nations drafting a Pacific-region trade agreement made progress on rules for state-owned enterprises, with differences over tariffs remaining one of the obstacles to a final deal, a top U.S. negotiator said in an interview. “There has been important progress made this week,” Barbara Weisel, U.S. trade representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific said yesterday in Hanoi, where she led the U.S. delegation in 10 days of talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership that concluded today. “We have spent successive rounds trying to narrow the gaps. There was very good progress on SOEs here.”

Read More…


Paraguay moving closer to Pacific Alliance; expects invitation for summit in Mexico

globe - south america - connections to worldMercoPress, 4/24/14

The announcement followed the visit to Asuncion of Colombian Deputy foreign minister Patti Londoño who met with her peers in the framework of the Paraguay-Colombia political and trade discussions mechanism, according to what was agreed by foreign ministers Eladio Loizaga and Maria Angeles Holguin last 24 March.

”We are very pleased to have Paraguay as an observer of the Alliance (Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico), but each country must agree on the areas it will be concentrating efforts and links with the founding members of the group“, said Ms Londoño.

”The Pacific Alliance already has 30 observer-countries, which is part of the integration effort in several areas and the links we establish with observers”, added the Colombian official.

Read more…

Op Ed: Mexico Suffered, and the United States Felt Its Pain

The New York Times, 11/24/2013

By Laura Carlsen

NAFTANafta is limping toward its 20th anniversary with a beat-up image and a bad track record. Recent polls show that the majority of the U.S. people favors “leaving” or “renegotiating” the model trade agreement.

While much has been said about its impact on U.S. job loss and eroding labor conditions, some of the most severe impacts of Nafta have been felt south of the border.

Read more…