Monday, October 12, 2015

Update of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Deal close on landmark trade pact
After nearly six years of negotiations with countries including Japan and ten pacific-rim countries, the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) may soon reach a conclusion. The TPP would break down trade barriers, and establish rules in areas like e-commerce, labor, and environment for countries that produce 40% of the world's economic output. Negotiators stayed an extra three days to hash out final auto, drug, and dairy regulations. Among the heated debates includes the issue of drug protection, and how long it takes for a company to legally make generic brand drugs. Another issue regarding dairy products is whether certain regulations may cause U.S. producers to require their market to open more imports from New Zealand than they gain in exports from Canada and Japan. Furthermore, business groups have pushed for protective tariffs and intellectual property protections. All in all, it is clear to see why debates are so heated and have lasted so long.
According to article author Doug Palmer, the Partnership is a key in allowing the U.S. to establish a foothold in the Asian market that is dominated by China. The TPP can, according to many environmental groups, establishes much needed environmental and safety regulations.
As the negotiations seem to draw to a close, Obama now faces the daunting task of presenting the treaty to Congress.
What are some possible cons and or shortcomings to agreeing to the treaty? Would this be a step towards the right direction in fostering good relations with the rest of the world, or should America not even concern itself with foreign affairs, and instead focus on domestic affairs?

1 comment:

Michael Lanthier said...

The Trans Pacific Partnership is going to do a great job evening the playing field for smaller nations in the Pacific, but one of my worries is will this start a race to the bottom in Asia and how will it be addressed? As massive amounts of tariffs are being removed, smaller developing nations will begin to see the benefits of industrializing and exporting goods. There is a possibility that some of these smaller nations will have very relaxed labor laws and environmental protection regulations in order to promote business. Although the Trans Pacific Partnership does cover some environmental regulation, it only really mentions poaching, deforestation, and overfishing. It fails to address the environmental impacts of these smaller nations industrializing to compete in global trade. Other nations have also proved this to be a problem, China continues to have air pollution issues and Vietnam is beginning to see environmental problems due to their rapid industrialization. Will this problem be addressed in later iterations of the TPP or will it be left out for good?