Malaysia Says 14 TPP Chapters ‘Substantially Closed’, Lists Procurement Objections
The Malaysian government last week revealed that 14 out of 29 chapters being negotiated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are “substantially closed,” while emphasizing that sensitive issues remain in these chapters that will be taken up at a later stage of the negotiations, presumably at a higher political level.
Vietnam Ready To Accept All TPP Chapters Except Market Access
A Vietnamese official this week signaled that his country is prepared to accept, with sufficiently long phase-in periods and assistance, U.S. proposals in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in such areas as labor rights, environmental protections, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and intellectual property rights (IPR) provided that Vietnam gets acceptable access for its apparel and footwear exports to the United States.
In a June 19 panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Center, Nguyen Vu Tung, deputy chief of mission at the Vietnamese embassy in Washington, said Vietnam is ready to accept all 29 TPP chapters except the one covering market access, which includes apparel and footwear.
TPP Market Access Talks with Japan Likely to Begin in Late August
Japan’s participation in the TPP will not get off to an immediate start. First, the 90-day consultation period (required by U.S. law) between the Administration and Congress does not expire until July 23. That comes only two days before the next round of TPP talks in Malaysia are scheduled to conclude. Additionally, the Administration must wait for an economic impact report to be completed by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) - followed by interagency and congressional consultations - before making any tariff offers. The ITC study is due on August 21. Given the August schedule, consultations could stretch into the end of August or early September. Thus, TPP market access talks with Japan will be delayed for at least two more months.
Malaysian City Of Kota Kinabalu To Host Upcoming TPP Negotiating Round
The next round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations will take place in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, at the Sutera Harbour Resort from July 15-25, according to informed sources.
The Malaysian government is expected to hold a stakeholder event on July 20.
NZ – Japan Talks
Foreign Minister Murray McCully and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, at talks held in Auckland yesterday, renewed the two countries’ commitment to strengthen their bilateral relationship. They recognized the importance of successfully concluding a Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement and welcomed the signing of a new double taxation convention and more liberal air services agreement, as well as a proposed memorandum of intent on closer defense cooperation. The two countries are also committed to expanding cooperation in areas such as earthquake engineering, geothermal energy and tsunami protection, as well as Pacific economic development, Antarctic resources conservation and the development of rugby in Japan.
During the 17th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks in Peru, negotiators made progress on several outstanding including sanitary and phytosanitary measures, trade remedies, e-commerce, cross-border trade in services, and rules of origin.
It was reported that comprehensive market-access packages are in the works for industrial, agricultural, and textile and apparel products, services and investment, and government procurement. These packages include tariff and rules of origin issues based on input from various stakeholders in TPP countries.
With Japan hoping to participate in the next round of negotiations (in July), all TPP countries will need to approve Japan’s inclusion in the TPP in the coming weeks.
The 18th round of TPP negotiations will be held in Malaysia from July 15 – 25. In addition, inter-sessional work will continue to advance specific issues.
March 15, 2013
The United States | New Zealand Council today welcomed Japan’s decision to embrace the goals of a comprehensive, high-standard, and commercially-meaningful Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
“Japan’s participation will increase interest and support for the TPP among the U.S. and New Zealand business communities, as well as throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” said William Maroni, president of the US | NZ Council.
“After 16 rounds of talks, today’s news will invigorate the TPP and create the needed new momentum to bring the negotiation to a successful competition,” he added.
Japan is the third-largest economy in the world, and the fourth-largest trading partner of both the United States and New Zealand. The US | NZ Council, an independent, non-partisan organization committed to promoting trade and investment liberalization, is a member of the U.S. Business Coalition for TPP.
According to Maroni, the announcement by Japan comes at a critical time in the TPP process when the United States lacks a new U.S. Trade Representative, following this week’s departure of Ambassador Kirk.
“Japan’s decision is favorable news for the TPP as well as for the United States and New Zealand,” said Maroni. “With the addition of Japan as the twelfth TPP member, the agreement has the potential to dramatically expand the flow of trade, investment, ideas and people; create millions of new jobs; and foster a more secure and prosperous Asia-Pacific region. This is a game-changer,” he said.
Maroni pledged the US | NZ Council’s continued commitment to the trade talks and its support for the swift, seamless inclusion of Japan into the process.
About the United States | New Zealand Council
The US | NZ Council, which was established in 1985, is the only independent group dedicated exclusively to advancing shared business, strategic, and cultural interests between the United States and New Zealand and throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The Council promotes mutual objectives in trade, investment, economic growth, and security; provides thought leadership on important Asia-Pacific regional matters; and expands collaboration and understanding in such areas as science and technology, the environment, education, entertainment and the arts. Visit www.USNZcouncil.org
The US | NZ Council attended the 15th Round of TPP talks in Auckland from December 3 – 12, 2012. This was the first round to include negotiators from Mexico and Canada.
Although several major issues will require both technical and political input throughout 2013, progress was made on a variety of topics in Auckland. Most notably, there appears to have been a smooth integration of Mexico and Canada into the talks. Both new TPP members were well prepared and pledged to keep pace with the ongoing negotiations.
The tone set in Auckland reinforced the original vision of establishing a truly regional, high quality, comprehensive, 21st century trade and investment agreement.
The 11 TPP economies make up US$18.3 trillion in GDP and include four of New Zealand’s ten largest trading partners. The addition of Mexico and Canada brings an additional US$ 1 billion of New Zealand exports under TPP and grows the proportion of New Zealand trade covered by the agreement to almost 40 percent (or US$18 billion).
The 16th round of the TPP negotiations took place at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel in Singapore from March 4 – 13, 2013. For more information, please visit: http://www.ustr.gov/tpp