Trans Pacific Partnership moves forward

Posted on: 31/03/2011

Australia, Malaysia, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam are seeking to join a trade bloc of Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore to form the TPP.

Negotiators from the nine countries (see above) hope to make substantial progress on the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, by the next summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group, or APEC, in November in Honolulu, after the sixth round of talks. Leaders at last year's APEC summit pledged to have the pact ready by this year's meeting. Some APEC member governments see it as a building block for a free trade area that encompasses all of Asia and the Pacific – from behemoths China and the U.S. to tiny Brunei and New Zealand. Slashing tariffs and other barriers to imports and investments, it would cover half the world's commerce and two-fifths of its trade.  It covers a swathe of issues from intellectual property, to agriculture, government procurement and legal services.  All the groups working on the various aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have drafted chapters, but significant work remains to completing them, they said.

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