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Round 13: San Diego

Monday July 2 at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Diego, California

On Monday, July 2nd, USTR welcomed more than 150 stakeholders to the 13th Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Diego, California at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel.  Stakeholders with a wide range of opinions-from Occupy San Diego to the Chamber of Commerce-presented before and interacted with delegates and negotiators from the 9 TPP member countries.  Over 90% of the stakeholders who attended the meetings were able to hear directly from TPP negotiators one-on-one.  USTR's Barbara Weisel (Chief Negotiator), Probir Mehta (Intellectual Property Negotiator), and Lewis Karesh (Labor Negotiator) were just a few of the U.S. delegates on hand to answer questions and brief stakeholders on the ongoing talks.  Stakeholders in San Diego also had the option of presenting to negotiators in a lecture-style format, a component of the stakeholder engagement event that was brought back by popular demand.  "Our negotiations are better because of the input of American stakeholders," said Chief Negotiator Weisel.  "Today's event was another opportunity to share information with those stakeholders and to continue our engagement to shape the TPP into a high-standard, job-supporting agreement that reflects our values."    


Tuesday July 3 at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Diego, California

This morning in San Diego at the 13th Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership talks, U.S. chief negotiator Barbara Weisel co-hosted a stakeholder briefing with the chief negotiators from the other TPP countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Approximately 64 individuals attended the briefing, representing organizations including Public Citizen, 3M, AFL-CIO, the Center for American Progress, the International Association of Machinists, and Knowledge Ecology International. Some attended as individual concerned citizens.

Weisel provided a brief overview on the status of the negotiations and opened the floor to questions. Chief negotiators from the TPP countries answered stakeholder questions on issues ranging from transparency, investments, access to medicines and IP. Additionally, points were raised on Mexico and Canada's recent invitations to join the TPP, and comments were given on Japan's ambition to join.  Weisel also spoke today at a Business Roundtable luncheon.

In addition to the chief negotiators’ work, negotiating groups meeting today included intellectual property – click here for information on what the United States is proposing in the IP negotiations this week – labor, market access, capacity building, services, investment, government procurement, telecommunications, customs, and legal issues.

Negotiators will be working through the July 4th holiday. In addition to most of today’s groups, financial services and non-conforming measures, as well as those negotiating horizontal and cross-cutting issues, start their meetings tomorrow – but the U.S. delegation wishes all a happy and safe Independence Day from San Diego. We’ll provide a brief update late-day as usual.


Wednesday July 4 at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Diego, California

Happy Independence Day from the U.S. delegation at the 13th Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership talks. Negotiating groups meeting today include chief negotiators, intellectual property, labor, market access, horizontal and cross-cutting issues, financial services and non-conforming measures, investment, government procurement, telecommunications, customs, and legal issues.

New update tomorrow; until then, visit www.ustr.gov/tpp for information and insights.  


Thursday July 5 at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Diego, California

Good evening from San Diego, where negotiating groups are making good progress; meeting today were chief negotiators, intellectual property, labor, market access, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, horizontal issues, financial services and non-conforming measures, investment, government procurement, telecommunications, e-commerce, and legal issues. Ready to start tomorrow: competition, temporary entry, textiles, and environment groups.

Look forward to sharing information with reporters at the press briefing/call tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. PT/2:45 p.m. ET. Journalists offsite, watch for an advisory tomorrow morning. 


Friday July 6 at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Diego, California

With apologies for the lateness of today’s update, on this Friday in San Diego meeting groups were chief negotiators, intellectual property, labor, environment, market access, rules of origin, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, horizontal issues, financial services and non-conforming measures, competition, temporary entry, textiles and customs. Bilateral meetings also took place today on government procurement issues.

This evening, negotiators for all nine TPP countries were invited to a reception hosted by the AFL-CIO, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the United Steelworkers, the Communications Workers of America, Public Citizen, the Sierra Club, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Friends of the Earth, and the Citizens Trade Campaign. Many U.S. negotiators were glad to be able to attend to hear from and share information with hosts and attendees from across the stakeholder community.

We’ll provide a weekend readout for you as well. Thanks to many of you who joined our press briefing/call today.


Saturday July 7 and Sunday July 8 at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Diego, California

TPP negotiating groups met through the weekend here in San Diego. On Saturday, meeting were chief negotiators, technical barriers to trade, environment, sanitary and phytosanitary issues, competition, financial services and non-conforming measures, e-commerce, rules of origin, and legal issues. Today, all the same groups met minus SPS, plus intellectual property rights.

Next update on Monday evening; chief negotiators will hold a closing briefing for press on Tuesday.


Monday July 9 at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Diego, California

TPP negotiating groups meeting today in San Diego were chief negotiators, intellectual property rights, technical barriers to trade, environment, textiles and trade remedies, financial services and non-conforming measures, e-commerce, rules of origin, and legal issues. Negotiating group meetings for this round end tomorrow. Chief negotiators will hold a short press briefing for on-site journalists at 10:30 a.m. PT to offer an update on progress in the negotiations; offsite press, please watch for an advisory for a USTR-only call-in briefing to follow.

Also in San Diego today, USTR took delivery of petition signatures from the AFL-CIO, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and the San Diego Labor Council representing input from stakeholders on the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.


Tuesday July 10 at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in San Diego, California

The United States and its eight TPP partners made important progress at the 13th Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiating round that concluded today. The talks, which were held July 2-10, continued the march forward toward conclusion of the more than 20 chapters under negotiation between the United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The TPP Agreement is a key trade initiative of the Obama Administration, which is seeking to support jobs for American workers by boosting American exports to the dynamic Asia-Pacific region, promote manufacturing, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and at the same time, reflect in the agreement important values on key issues such as worker rights and the environment.

This week’s talks made further substantial progress across the chapters, reflecting significant preparatory work done by each of the TPP countries since the previous negotiating round in Dallas in May. Negotiating groups made particularly significant progress in a number of chapters, including customs, cross-border services, telecommunications, government procurement, competition policy, and cooperation and capacity building. In addition, the negotiating groups moved their work ahead substantially on other issues, including rules of origin, investment, financial services, temporary entry, and other issues. Notably, the United States tabled a new proposal in the intellectual property rights group having to do with copyright limitations and exceptions. Negotiators will now take the progress made in the various chapters back to their capitals for review.

The nine countries continued intensive discussions on the ambitious tariff packages they are seeking to conclude that will provide access to each other’s industrial goods, agriculture, and textiles markets. They also advanced their discussions of how to promote regional supply chains to further augment the benefits of the agreement. In addition, they discussed specific commitments on liberalization of their markets for services, an area where the United States and other TPP countries see potential new opportunities from the agreement.

The U.S. Government recognizes the importance of obtaining as broad a range of input from the public as possible throughout the TPP negotiations; the active engagement we are undertaking is refining our negotiating positions and will result in a better agreement. This negotiating round featured numerous opportunities for nearly 300 people who had registered to meet with U.S. and other TPP negotiators. On July 2, the first day of the negotiating round, a Direct Stakeholder Engagement Forum was held at the negotiating venue, which enabled representatives of industry, non-governmental organizations, academia, and the general public to meet directly with negotiators to discuss specific TPP issues. Some stakeholders also chose to make formal presentations to negotiators. On July 3, the Chief Negotiators from all nine TPP countries held a briefing with stakeholders, and the U.S. Chief Negotiator also participated in a roundtable discussion hosted at the University of California, San Diego. On July 6, negotiators from all nine TPP countries participated in an event hosted by the AFL-CIO and other groups, which featured remarks from Congressman Bob Filner, San Diego Port Commissioner Scott Peters, and Lorena Gonzalez, Secretary-Treasurer/CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council of the AFL-CIO. There were also numerous additional meetings between negotiators and interested parties throughout the negotiating round.

During this round, USTR also notified Congress of its intent to enter into TPP negotiations with Mexico and Canada on July 9 and 10, respectively. This notification triggers a 90-day period during which the Obama Administration will consult with Congress on objectives related to these new entrants to the TPP negotiations. Mexico and Canada will join the TPP negotiations once current TPP members successfully conclude their domestic procedures.

The 14th Round of TPP negotiations will take place in Leesburg, Virginia on September 6-15. We will provide further information about public events surrounding this round of negotiations as soon as it is available; however, we urge all interested parties to save these dates.