Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) were finally concluded on 4 October 2015 in Atlanta, USA. The historic deal involves twelve countries representing over 40% of the global economy, including the United States, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and Vietnam. No other ASEAN member states are represented. Once implemented, it is expected to reduce tariffs on 98% of goods traded by the signatory countries as well as reduce regulatory hurdles for cross-border investment.
Further to tariffs, the TPP is also slated to include provisions for trade and trade-related issues, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade remedies, investment, services, electronic commerce, government procurement, intellectual property, labor, and the environment.
The TPP is viewed as a new standard for trade and investment in the Asia Pacific, and is an important step toward an ultimate goal of open trade and regional integration across the region. However, it will have to be ratified by the respective legislatures of each signatory before it can be implemented.
* The information contained in this legal update is provided for information purposes only, and is not intended to constitute legal advice. Legal advice should be obtained from qualified legal counsel for all specific situations.