White House Goes on Offensive for Newly Signed TPP
On Monday, the United States signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The signatories include five the United States 20 largest trading partners and represent two-fifths of the global economy.
As summarized by the White House, its principal terms are:
- Comprehensive market access.
The TPP eliminates or reduces tariff and non-tariff barriers across substantially all trade in goods and services and covers the full spectrum of trade, including goods and services trade and investment, so as to create new opportunities and benefits for our businesses, workers, and consumers.
- Regional approach to commitments.
The TPP facilitates the development of production and supply chains, and seamless trade, enhancing efficiency and supporting our goal of creating and supporting jobs, raising living standards, enhancing conservation efforts, and facilitating cross-border integration, as well as opening domestic markets.
- Promoting innovation, productivity, and competitiveness by addressing new issues, including the development of the digital economy, and the role of state-owned enterprises in the global economy.
The TPP includes new elements that seek to ensure that economies at all levels of development and businesses of all sizes can benefit from trade. It includes commitments to help small- and medium-sized businesses understand the Agreement, take advantage of its opportunities, and bring their unique challenges to the attention of the TPP governments. It also includes specific commitments on development and trade capacity building, to ensure that all Parties are able to meet the commitments in the Agreement and take full advantage of its benefits.
- Platform for regional integration.
The TPP is intended as a platform for regional economic integration and designed to include additional economies across the Asia-Pacific region.
Opponents argue that the agreement would
- off-shore American jobs and increase income inequality,
- jack up the cost of medicines,
- sneak in SOPA-like threats to Internet freedom,
- empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards,
- expose the U.S. to unsafe food and products,
- roll back Wall Street reforms,
- ban Buy American policies needed to create green jobs,
- and undermine human rights.
The White House has launched a TPP website that includes fact sheets and explanatory videos.