Readout on Day 1 of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Francisco, CA
Today in San Francisco, California, USTR and agency partners across the Obama Administration hosted the first day of the second round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. The day began with a briefing by lead U.S. negotiator and Assistant USTR Barbara Weisel for stakeholders who registered to attend and participate in events around this week’s talks. (See http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/blog/2010/june/us-stakeholders... for more information on stakeholder participation.) Topics of discussion ranged from the U.S. approach on investment issues to the relationship between the new TPP agreement and pre-existing free trade agreements (FTAs), the process for consultations with Congress when additional countries join the TPP talks, and other issues.
The round began with a plenary meeting of all negotiators present from the eight TPP partner countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. The opening plenary was an overview of goals for the week’s talks: determining a framework for market access negotiations and the relationship between the TPP agreement and pre-existing FTAs, and defining a path forward on so-called “horizontal” issues including small business priorities, regulatory coherence, competitiveness, supply chains, development, and regional integration. Negotiators also discussed the amount of progress they hope to make this week in order to be in a position to begin drafting text before the third round of TPP talks in October.
In the afternoon, various working groups met to begin negotiations in specific issue areas:
*Technical Barriers to Trade
*Legal and Institutional
USTR hopes to report progress from these groups as the week continues. The first day of San Francisco negotiations closed with a U.S. delegation debriefing on the day.The Tuesday schedule for TPP negotiations, as well as additional updates, will be posted on www.ustr.gov and www.ustr.gov/tpp-san-francisco tomorrow. The next live press briefing and press readout will occur at the close of Tuesday’s talks.