The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): In Brief

Source: Ian F. Fergusson, Mark A. McMinimy, Brock R. Williams, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report, R44278, November 19, 2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) among 12 Asia-Pacific countries, which the Obama Administration casts as comprehensive and high standard, with economic and strategic significance for the United States. The 12 countries (including the United States) announced the conclusion of the TPP negotiations on October 5, 2015, after several years of ongoing talks. President Obama publicly released the text of the agreement and notified Congress of his intent to sign it on November 5, 2015. Congress would need to pass implementing legislation for a final TPP agreement to enter into force for the United States. It would be eligible to receive expedited legislative consideration under Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), P.L. 114-26, if Congress determines the administration has advanced the TPA negotiating objectives, and has met various notification and consultation requirements. Through the TPP, the participating countries seek to liberalize trade and investment and establish new rules and disciplines in the region beyond those that already exist in the World Trade Organization (WTO). …. Throughout the negotiations on TPP, certain aspects of the agreement have proven controversial. These include select market access issues (such as on dairy and other agricultural products, autos, and textiles and apparel) as well as the level of intellectual property protection, the scope and enforcement of environment and worker rights provisions, the treatment of SOEs, investor-state dispute settlement, access to government procurement, and the potential inclusion of provisions on currency valuation and exchange rates. This report briefly summarizes some of the key provisions listed generally in alphabetical order. Additional analysis of the agreement will be forthcoming…..