TPP: The end of the beginning

The TPP is still a promise, not yet a reality. The political deal that brought Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations to a successful conclusion on Oct 5, 2015 was a landmark achievement. But now the legislatures of 12 TPP member countries will need to review, debate, approve and implement it.

Central to American grand strategy has been updating the international economic architecture to match the realities of 21st-century and consolidating the U.S. role as a Pacific power.

But equally important is that the U.S. has displayed flexibility. In adopting a hybrid approach that will give up to eight years of data protection for biologic drugs, the United States has shown the strength to compromise without surrendering high standards.

In powerful ways, the TPP revives a stagnant global trade regime. It shows that mega trade agreements can offer a platform to devise updated rules on trade and investment that cover sizable share of the world economy.

For Japan, the TPP deal boosts Abenomics where its true transformative power lies: structural reform.

The TPP text will be released soon, and will offer the opportunity to debate the merits and demerits of the TPP with facts. A spirited discussion will be essential in shoring up public support.

The TPP is still a promise, not a reality. Each TPP country has its own procedures for ratification and implementation, and some definitely face an uphill battle.

TPP ratification could not come at a more complicated time for the U.S., with a full-blown presidential election race. The successful conclusion of the TPP negotiations will mean little if TPP is voted down in Congress or stays frozen in ratification limbo.

Read more …

TPP: The end of the beginning, Brookings Institution, Oct 5, 2015

More articles by the author, Mireya Solís, in New York Times, etc.

FAQ: What is the process for ratification and entry into force of the TPP? … in Vietnam and the United States.

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