(July 2, 2012) California companies have much to gain from the 13th round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations set to take place in San Diego from July 2–10.
The California Chamber of Commerce supports the continuing negotiations. In 2011, U.S. exports with the Trans-Pacific Partnership members reached $105.4 billion and California exports topped $14 billion.
The broad agreement outlines announced by leaders of the nine TPP countries last year at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings in Hawaii will enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, promote innovation, economic growth and development, and support the creation and retention of jobs.
The TPP countries are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.
Earlier this month, Mexico and Canada were invited to join the TPP negotiations. Japan’s application is still pending.
This is the second negotiating round held in California; the earlier was in San Francisco, June 14–18, 2010.
Expanding Exports, Jobs
During his first trip to Asia as President of the United States, President Barack Obama announced on November 14, 2009 the United States’ intention to engage with the original TPP countries to shape a regional agreement, with the objective of shaping a high-standard, broad-based regional pact helping to expand U.S. exports, saving and creating good U.S. jobs.
The Asia-Pacific region is a key driver of global economic growth, representing nearly 60% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and roughly 50% of international trade.
The average GDP growth rate in the dynamic countries in this region was 5.3% in 2007, compared with the world average of 3.8%. Since 1990, Asia-Pacific goods trade has increased by 300%, while global investment in the region has increased by more than 400%.
According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the TPP agreement will include:
- Core issues traditionally included in trade agreements, including industrial goods, agriculture and textiles, as well as rules on intellectual property, technical barriers to trade, labor and environment.
- Cross-cutting issues not previously in trade agreements, such as making the regulatory systems of TPP countries more compatible so U.S. companies can operate more seamlessly in TPP markets, and helping innovative, job-creating small and medium-sized enterprises participate more actively in international trade.
- New emerging trade issues, such as addressing trade and investment in innovative products and services, including digital technologies, and ensuring state-owned enterprises compete fairly with private companies and do not distort competition in ways that put U.S. companies and workers at a disadvantage.
Even though U.S. exports to Asia continue to rise, the United States is gradually losing market share. Asian countries have negotiated more than 160 trade agreements among themselves, while the United States has signed only two (Singapore and Australia).
Accession to the agreement will be possible after completion of the TPP negotiations with the current members. Other APEC member countries will be able to join or “dock” on to the TPP agreement at a later date without the right to amend the text.
The California Chamber of Commerce, in keeping with long-standing policy, enthusiastically supports free trade worldwide, expansion of international trade and investment, fair and equitable market access for California products abroad and elimination of disincentives that impede the international competitiveness of California business.
New multilateral, sectoral and regional trade agreements ensure that the United States may continue to gain access to world markets, resulting in an improved economy and additional employment of Americans.
The CalChamber supports new countries joining the TPP, thereby agreeing to comply with current international norms and obligations, and committing to the high standards currently being negotiated for trade and investment, as well as intellectual property protection and enforcement.
Agreements like the TPP ensure that the United States may continue to gain access to world markets, resulting in an improved economy and additional employment of Americans.
More information is available at www.calchamber.com/TPP.
Staff Contact Susanne Stirling