bilaterals.org logo
bilaterals.org logo

CPTPP

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP, or also known as TPP11) is a trade and investment agreement that was signed on 7 March 2018, after ten years of negotiation, between 11 Pacific Rim countries.

It 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 of the now called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP or TPPA).

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 on 8 March 2018.

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 CPTPP helps to to further undermine conditions and wages for workers which have already been eroded by other trade and investment agreements.

Among other controversial clauses, the CPTPP parties 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 CPTPP’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 CPTPP countries are given the ability to provide input to national policy making in other member states. Governments also have to conduct regulatory impact assessments, justifying the “need for a regulation” and exploring “feasible alternatives” before proceeding.

Finally, the CPTPP’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.

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 2021
Photo: Chile Mejor Sin TLC


Xi says open to discussion on state-owned companies in CPTPP talks
President Xi Jinping said Thursday that China is open to negotiations on industrial subsidies and state-owned enterprises in order to be accepted into the CPTPP.
The potential ag trade impact of China’s CPTPP bid
The world’s largest meat importing nation recently submitted a formal application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and it continues to draw a lot of attention.
Thailand starts CPTPP application process driven by fears for inward investment and the economy
Just ahead of the ASEAN summit in Brunei came a strong indication that Thailand is taking steps to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
China moves to ease rules on government procurement for CPTPP
China has taken a step toward easing rules that all but bar foreign companies from lucrative government procurement deals as the world’s second-largest economy seeks to join a Pacific Rim trade deal.
CPTPP members must be wary of China’s attempt to join trade pact
Until Beijing demonstrates a credible commitment to abiding by the rules and ceases to use its economic might as a tool of coercion against other states, allowing it to join the CPTPP would be a serious mistake.
S. Korea to soon decide whether to join CPTPP: finance minister
South Korea plans to decide whether to join a mega Asia-Pacific free trade agreement involving 11 nations as early as this month in an effort to diversify its export portfolio, the country’s finance minister has said.
Singapore backs Beijing’s CPTPP bid, Chinese ministry says
Singapore has welcomed China’s application to join the CPTPP trade agreement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
Britain sees Tran-Pacific trade deal next year, no date yet for US accord
Britain does not know when it might get a full trade deal with the United States but is hoping to join a Trans-Pacific trade partnership next year, British trade minister said.
Taiwan asks Australia to support regional trade bid
A Taiwan official has asked Australia to support its bid to join the CPTPP pan-Pacific trade pact, which China opposes, saying Taiwan can boost high technology trade flows and demand for Australian minerals.
Japan Chamber of Commerce supports Taiwan’s CPTPP bid
The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Taipei (JCCIT) supported Taiwan’s bid to join the CPTPP trade group, but it also wanted it to end an import ban on food from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

    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