bilaterals.org logo
bilaterals.org logo

TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade and investment agreement that was signed on 7 March 2018, after ten years of negotiation, between 11 Pacific Rim countries.

The TPP began as an agreement between the four Pacific states of Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. The P4 (Pacific 4), as it was then known, was signed on 3 June 2005 and came into force on 1 January 2006 as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership.

In September 2008, the US Trade Representative announced that the US would seek entry into the P4 agreement. For Washington, the P4 offered a neoliberal agenda-friendly platform to expand US economic and strategic interests in Asia. A few months later, the governments of Australia, Peru and Vietnam announced their intention to join as well. Malaysia, Mexico, and Canada joined the negotiations in 2010, while Japan joined in 2013. The US quickly assumed leadership of the whole negotiating process.

Over the years, trade unions, advocacy groups, internet freedom activists, indigenous peoples, environmentalists, health professionals and elected officials criticised and protested against the treaty because it was designed to extend and concentrate corporate power at the expense of people’s rights.

For instance, by granting corporations and investors enormous privileges, the TPP will help to further undermine conditions and wages for workers which have already been eroded by other trade and investment agreements.

Among other controversial clauses, the TPP parties have agreed to enhance cooperation on certain activities related to agricultural biotechnology. The treaty requires member states to ratify the UPOV Convention of 1991, a kind of patent system for seeds. This will expand the market for privatised genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and hybrids, and threaten traditional seeds and knowledge.

The TPP’s chapter on regulatory coherence forces a signatory government to engage with “interested persons” when it intends to strengthen public policies. This means that companies from TPP countries will be given the ability to provide input to national policy making in other member states. Governments will also have to conduct regulatory impact assessments, justifying the “need for a regulation” and exploring “feasible alternatives” before proceeding.

Finally, TPP’s sweeping investment chapter extends transnational companies ability to challenge public policies related to health, the environment (the treaty fails to mention climate change even once) or labour. It includes the controversial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism that allows corporations to sue a state if a new regulation hampers their expected profits or investment potentials. Of particular note, the treaty does not replace, for Canada, Mexico and the United States, the existing NAFTA, thus leaving open the prospect of investor-claimants shopping between the two treaties for the most advantageous rights.

The TPP was signed in New Zealand on 4 February 2016. But on 23 January 2017, the new US President Donald Trump signed an executive order formally withdrawing the US from the trade pact. On 21 May 2017, on the margin of the APEC forum in Vietnam, the remaining members agreed to conclude talks on an alternative arrangement of the deal without the US by November.

The remaining 11 countries signed the newly-dubbed Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) on 8 March 2018.

Mexico ratified the treaty on 28 June 2018, followed by Japan on 6 July, Singapore on 19 July, New Zealand on 25 October, Canada on 29 October, Australia on 31 October and Vietnam on 15 November. The Treaty went into force on 30 December 2018 among the members who have ratified it.

The text of the agreement is available here: https://www.bilaterals.org/?tpp-trans-pacific-partnership

last update: July 2019
Photo: Chile Mejor Sin TLC


Labour Day Rally in Chicago Kicks Off Challenge to TPPA Negotiating Round
A rally of around a thousand unionists, HIV-Aids activists and social justice campaigners in Chicago sent a clear message to negotiators the day before the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations began in Chicago.
Labor unions rally at Grant Park
Chicago labor unions say a looming free trade agreement, the "Trans Pacific Partnership," will lead to the loss of good-paying US jobs. They compare it to NAFTA.
Pro-labor activists in Chicago protest Trans-Pacific Partnership pact
Politicians, labor activists and ice cream makers gather to influence free-trade agreement
Malaysian declaration on the TPPA and access to medicines
Call for all civil society groups, people living with HIV, all communities facing communcable, chronic and/or non-communicable diseases in the TPPA signatory countries to join forces to halt any & all trade agreements that restrict access to generic medicines.
Trans-Pacific trade pact called new NAFTA
Warning of a new "NAFTA for the Pacific Rim," labor and its allies are demanding a new free trade deal being negotiated for the Pacific region include protections for workers rights, health care and the environment.
Labor Day showdown: Can advocates stop ‘NAFTA of the Pacific’?
This Labor Day, the Pacific Rim will wash into the Midwest’s flagship city, and activists will confront the tides of global commerce with a demand for global economic justice.
Human Rights Commission rejection of Trans-Pacific Partnership audit latest blow to democratic process
The New Zealand Human Rights Commission has declined a request for a scoping study on the human rights implications of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), saying it doesn’t have the resources.
Chicago activists will protest Asia-Pacific trade deal
An umbrella group of activists opposed to a proposed U.S. trade deal with eight countries in the Asia Pacific region said Friday they aim to raise public awareness of its potential effects on jobs and the environment when negotiators meet next month in Chicago.
US: Analysts criticise proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership
Critics of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) gathered in Washington to voice concerns over the US’s stronghold on intellectual property rights.
House legislators lobby to exclude 12-year data exclusivity period from free trade agreement
Last week, a group of seven House Democrats, led by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), sought to have the 12-year data exclusivity period provided by the biosimilar approval pathway of the US’ Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act excluded from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement

    Links


  • AFTINET TPP site
    Web page on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement maintained by the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network
  • Expose the TPP
    The TPP would expand and lock in corporate power. At the heart of the TPP are new rights allowing thousands of multinational corporations to sue the U.S. government before a panel of three corporate lawyers who can award unlimited sums to be paid by America’s taxpayers. Only six of its 30 chapters actually cover “trade.”
  • Help free the TPP!
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement—which some have come to refer to as "NAFTA on steroids"—could ultimately affect the lives of billions of people worldwide. Neither the public, the press, nor even the US Congress knows the full extent of what’s in the text being negotiated—but corporate lobbyists know what it contains. Help us raise a reward for WikiLeaks should it publish the negotiating text of the TPP!
  • It’s our future
    Website on the implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement for New Zealand
  • Mexico Mejor Sin TPP
    Convergencia de Organizaciones Sociales y Ciudadanxs contra el Acuerdo Transpacífico de Cooperación Económica (TPP por sus siglas en inglés)
  • Moana Nui 2011
    Pua Mohala I Ka Po in collaboration with the International Forum on Globalization presents an international conference on Pacific transitions: "Moana Nui: Pacific peoples, lands and economies", November 9-11, 2011 Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Occupy TPPA
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a mega-treaty across nine or more countries. If the negotiations succeed they will put a straightjacket on the policies and laws our government can adopt for the next century. Corporations will gain massive new powers in Australia. Help us stop the TPPA!
  • Rock against the TPP
    Join us for a nationwide uprising and concert tour to stop the biggest corporate power grab in history: the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Stop TPP Action
    Japanese alliance website