Trade union needs comprehensive reform to implement FTAs, ILO Conventions: PM

Prime Minister says the implementation of international labour-related commitments in the new generation of free trade agreements and Conventions of the International Labour Organizations (ILO) requires Viet Nam’s trade union to undertake a comprehensive reform. Read more

CP Foods taps into Vietnam’s TPP access to drive poultry exports

BANGKOK — Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Foods is boosting investment into Vietnam, marking one of the first big moves to piggyback on Vietnamese access to Trans-Pacific Partnership countries since the pact took effect at the turn of the year. Read more

Trump opens door to TPP return

DAVOS, Switzerland — U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which he decided to exit back in January 2017, if “we made a much better deal than we had.”

The 11 remaining TPP members just Tuesday set a date for signing a revised version of the deal. Trump had previously refused to rejoin the trade pact despite repeated calls by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, choosing instead to focus on bilateral agreements. But he appears to have changed tack amid pressure from U.S. business leaders. Read more

Prime Minister Phuc’s Official Visit to Washington

There have been recurrent rumors that Hanoi and Washington might agree to explore a bilateral trade pact that would entail many TPP-like trade reforms. To the extent that’s true (official confirmation is lacking on both sides), jump-starting bilateral trade talks will be at the top of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s agenda when he visits Washington this week. Read more

USTR Lighthizer at APEC Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Hanoi: “I’m here.”

Was the terse response from U.S. President Donald Trump’s new  trade representative, signalling perhaps some commitment to the Asia-Pacific, when CNBC asked him what message he hoped to convey to trade ministers gathered at an APEC meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam. Read more

Japan to support 11-nation TPP at May APEC Ministers Meetings in Hanoi

Trade ministers from 11 countries which agreed to join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will meet in Hanoi May 19 – 20, as moves to resurrect the trade deal gather pace.  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned in November 2016 that without the world’s largest economy the TPP “has no meaning”. But Japan’s position appears to have changed. On Thursday Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso gave a speech in New York confirming trade ministers from the other TPP countries would meet in May to discuss the deal, which he said offered more than bilateral trade negotiations.  Read more

Does U.S. medical research subsidize other countries?

The U.S. is the world leader in producing new medicines. The country’s strong intellectual-property laws, coupled with a comparatively free-market pricing system, encourage firms to research new treatments. Companies wouldn’t take on the enormous cost of developing a new drug without a solid chance of recouping their investment. On average, a new medicine takes 10 years and costs $2.6 billion to develop, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

The problem is that rather than promote innovation, many other countries impose price controls on prescription drugs—including new medicines invented in the United States—to make them artificially cheaper for consumers. If American companies refuse to sell their medicines at these steeply discounted dictated prices, foreign countries threaten to break their patents and produce knockoff versions of the medicines. Read more

TPP may not be entirely dead; U.S. to pursue bilateral FTAs with key TPP partners

President Trump’s USTR nominee, Robert Lighthizer, told the Senate Finance Committee in questions for the record following his confirmation hearing in mid March that “The President has made it very clear that he intends to promote American leadership in the Asia-Pacific through many channels, including by pursuing bilateral FTAs with our key TPP partners. I support that approach.” Read more

A new paradigm in Asia-Pacific Trade … ?

Wendy Cutler, vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute and a former diplomat and negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, tells us what to expect from the meetings in Chile. As Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, Cutler played a major role in forming TPP — particularly with the bilateral negotiations with Japan.

China said that a meeting in Chile to discuss a possible regional Pacific trade deal is not strictly about the languishing Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as China tries to distance itself from one-time U.S.-led trade pact. Read more