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Round 5: Santiago

Update on Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in Chile: Day One
02/14/2011 - 7:16pm

Today the United States and negotiating partners Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam launched Round 5 of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement in Santiago, Chile.

Jorge Bunster, Chile`s Director General of International Economic Relations, welcomed the delegations from the TPP countries and encouraged negotiators to continue the progress achieved in previous rounds and strive to significantly advance the negotiations in Chile. The United States joined the TPP negotiations in late 2009 with the goal of a broad, 21st-century regional trade agreement that addresses the issues American businesses and workers face today, and gives them better access to the growing markets of the Asia-Pacific.

Negotiators started the week with meetings on market access for goods, telecommunications, customs cooperation, financial services, technical barriers to trade, legal and institutional issues, and environment. In addition, TPP countries continued discussions on new cross-cutting themes that will feature in the TPP Agreement, such as helping small and medium-sized enterprises participate more actively in international trade, promoting connectivity and deepening linkages to the emerging production and distribution networks in the Asia-Pacific; and making the regulatory approaches of TPP countries more compatible so U.S. companies can operate more seamlessly in TPP markets.

Over the coming week, negotiators will meet on the full range of issues to be included in the TPP and will engage with the more than 60 public and private sector stakeholders attending the negotiations.


Update on Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in Chile: Day Two
02/16/2011 - 10:17am

On Tuesday, the United States and its negotiating partners completed the second day of negotiations at Round 5 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement in Santiago, Chile. Negotiators held meetings on trade remedies and business mobility, and continued discussions on goods market access, financial services, intellectual property, technical barriers to trade, customs cooperation, legal and institutional issues and the environment.

TPP negotiators also took part in a full day of presentations by civil society and industry stakeholders from Chile and elsewhere in Latin America, New Zealand and the United States. Stakeholder presentations covered a wide range of issues, including environmental protection, investment, agricultural exports, the financial sector and freedom of expression on the internet. In addition, civil society and industry stakeholders expressed a broad range of perspectives on intellectual property issues.

Broad stakeholder outreach has been an important feature of the TPP negotiations since they began and constructive input from the business community and civil society groups remains a valuable resource for TPP negotiators.


Update on Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in Chile: Day Three
02/17/2011 - 9:49am

Negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement continued on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile. Negotiators from the TPP countries continued their discussions on goods market access, trade remedies, technical barriers to trade (TBT), environment, legal and institutional issues and intellectual property, and began discussions on investment, e-commerce, rules of origin and capacity building. In addition, negotiators took part in several seminars designed to facilitate communication with public and private sector stakeholders.

Labor delegations joined in a seminar on Chilean Labor Law and Practice, in which Chilean experts from government, trade unions, and industry presented information on the application and enforcement of Chilean labor laws, inspection procedures, and administrative and judicial institutions. Similar exchanges, which help to inform the negotiations on labor provisions, have taken place in other countries on their labor laws during previous negotiating rounds.

TPP experts on sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures also took part in a seminar focused on electronic certification and risk-based inspection programs in their respective countries. Presentations were made by regulatory officials from Australia, Chile and the United States.

Finally, the TBT negotiating group participated in a seminar that addressed technical barriers to trade in a range of areas, including the organic sector.

All seminars were well-attended by government officials and non-governmental stakeholders from industry and civil society.


Update on Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations in Chile: Day Four
02/18/2011 - 10:10am

On Thursday, the United States and its negotiating partners in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement wrapped up a fourth day of talks in Santiago, Chile. Negotiating groups continued to make progress in the areas of goods market access, investment, rules of origin and intellectual property, and began discussions on labor, services, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, government procurement and competition policy.

Round 5 wraps up on Friday. Chief negotiators will take stock of progress made during the week and agree on a plan for the sixth round in Singapore in late March.


Continued Progress at Fifth Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Round
02/18/2011

The United States and its TPP partners – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam – concluded the fifth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations in Santiago, Chile today, marking continued progress toward the goal of developing a high-standard, 21st-century trade agreement.

Having exchanged initial tariff offers in January, the teams from the nine TPP countries began goods negotiations in Santiago, agreeing to exchange lists of requests for improvements in these initial offers next month ahead of the sixth round. The partners also agreed to exchange initial offers on services and investment and initial offers on government procurement before the next round. In addition, the teams began consideration of how best to develop a TPP rule of origin, which will help support development of a regional trade agreement, and agreed to exchange proposed product-specific rules of origin in March.

TPP countries made further progress in developing the agreement’s legal texts, which will spell out the rights and obligations each country will take on and that will cover all aspects of trade and investment relationships. The teams carefully reviewed the text proposals made by each country, ensuring understanding of each other’s proposals so negotiations could advance. With consolidated negotiating texts in most areas, partners began seeking to narrow differences and to consider the interests and concerns of each country.

TPP partners also further developed approaches addressing the new cross-cutting issues that will be incorporated into the agreement, including a proposal for promoting competitiveness and facilitating business; how to promote the participation of small- and medium-sized businesses in international trade; deepening the production and supply chain linkages between TPP countries; enhancing the coherence of the regulatory systems of TPP countries to facilitate trade; and promoting development.

As in previous rounds, the teams received input from a wide range of representatives of business, civil society and other stakeholder groups on a variety of issues. The labor delegations attended a seminar on Chilean labor law and practice, with presentations by government officials, trade unions, and industry. The sanitary and phyto-sanitary group participated in a seminar on electronic certification and risk-based inspection programs, with presentations by Australian, Chilean, and U.S. officials. In addition, the technical barriers to trade team participated in a seminar on non-tariff barriers, including in the organic sector.

Reflecting the direction of the nine TPP Leaders for the TPP negotiators to conclude as expeditiously as possible, the teams agreed to intensify their work, planning an ambitious agenda ahead of the next negotiating round in Singapore in late March and agreeing to extend the length of the round so negotiators would have more time to make progress in each group. As it prepares for the sixth round, the U.S. team will continue its close and detailed consultations with Congress and stakeholders in order to ensure that the TPP Agreement deals with the issues U.S. businesses and workers are facing in the 21st century and reflects U.S. values.