The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Potential regional and global impacts

12-05-2016

On 4 February 2016, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was signed by 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. It encompasses about 800 million people, and the participating countries account for roughly a quarter of global trade and approximately 40% of the world's GDP. The TPP – described by US President Barack Obama as 'a regional agreement that will have broad-based membership and the high standards worthy of a 21st century trade agreement' – provides deeper liberalisation for trade in goods and services and introduces a set of common rules in a number of fields, going beyond current WTO plus commitments in existing free trade agreements. It is highly probable that the TPP, although yet to be ratified, will influence the way that regional free trade agreements, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), develop. Alongside China's growing stature and the increase in intraregional economic relations in the Asia-Pacific region, the TPP could adversely affect the interests of the EU. It remains to be seen how quickly the forthcoming ratification and implementation process can be completed, what the ultimate economic significance of the TPP will be, and whether other countries will be able to join the partnership.

On 4 February 2016, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was signed by 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. It encompasses about 800 million people, and the participating countries account for roughly a quarter of global trade and approximately 40% of the world's GDP. The TPP – described by US President Barack Obama as 'a regional agreement that will have broad-based membership and the high standards worthy of a 21st century trade agreement' – provides deeper liberalisation for trade in goods and services and introduces a set of common rules in a number of fields, going beyond current WTO plus commitments in existing free trade agreements. It is highly probable that the TPP, although yet to be ratified, will influence the way that regional free trade agreements, including the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), develop. Alongside China's growing stature and the increase in intraregional economic relations in the Asia-Pacific region, the TPP could adversely affect the interests of the EU. It remains to be seen how quickly the forthcoming ratification and implementation process can be completed, what the ultimate economic significance of the TPP will be, and whether other countries will be able to join the partnership.