Trans Pacific Partnership

The trade and investment environment in the Asia-Pacific is one of the most dynamic, growth-oriented, and consequential to global companies, but also one of the most rapidly evolving. This week, eleven nations released the full text of the new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). This successor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), will be signed in Santiago, Chile on March 8, by the trade ministers from Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Japan, Singapore, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Brunei, Australia and New Zealand.

A review of the completed text of the CPTPP agreement provides a lens into how the landmark deal will reshape the regional trading and commercial landscape. Companies doing business in the region – or with competitors there – and those contemplating growth in these markets will want to pay close attention to the CPTPP. Close analysis will help guide investment choices, inform where companies base regional operations, and drive decisions about global supply chain management and preferential market access.

Crowell & Moring International helps shape and navigate this evolving policy landscape from both the public and private perspective. We help companies assess how to move forward in the Asia-Pacific, and counsel governments in the region as they implement domestic legal, regulatory, and policy changes to implement the provisions in the CPTPP. Here are some key dynamics to watch, as the CPTPP countries move toward ratification and implementation.

For more, please see Crowell’s Client Alert.

The 11 remaining countries in the Trans Pacific Partnership (the TPP11) are hoping to announce progress on a path forward to proceed without the United States on November 11 on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam.

TPP11 trade ministers met November 8-9 to attempt to reach consensus, with Japan taking an active coordinating role. Trade officials from the TPP11 met in Urayasu, Japan, the week of October 31 to discuss specific rules and commitments to “suspend” from the agreement given the lack of U.S. participation and have reportedly exchanged proposals to suspend rules in many areas, including on intellectual property, investor-state dispute settlement, labor and the environment, as well as in several market access areas. It is likely that many of the commitments insisted on by the United States during the negotiations are among those under discussion for suspension. Any rule suspensions could be accompanied by mechanisms to reactivate the rules if and when the United States eventually rejoins the agreement.

Though the United States is not a party to the agreement, multinational companies with investments in the remaining TPP11 countries could still see benefits from TPP’s commitments on digital trade, regulatory cooperation, state-owned enterprises, and intellectual property should the agreement be implemented, though much will depend on which provisions make it into the ultimate agreement. An announcement by the TPP11 later this week on the margins of the APEC Leaders Meeting may therefore have commercially meaningful impacts for companies.

For more information, contact: Robert Holleyman, Evan Yu