Trade ministers, while attending the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Nairobi, again managed to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Faced with the prospect of complete failure, ministers worked overtime to cobble together a package of mostly small, symbolic agreements at the WTO’s Tenth Ministerial Conference. While the outcome is not being greeted with the same dismay, Nairobi looks more like the Copenhagen summit on climate change than the recent session in Paris, which managed to bridge North-South differences.
CGD Policy Blogs
The recently agreed upon but not yet signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will cover 12 countries and 40 percent of global GDP, is certain to loom large as the World Trade Organization (WTO) celebrates its 20th anniversary in Nairobi next week. For US trade negotiators, conclusion of the TPP deal means they can turn their attention to talks with the European Union on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
Now that it has been released, it will take a while to dig through all 30 chapters, plus annexes, and side letters that constitute the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). I’ve only taken a quick look at a few chapters and, so far, my take hasn't changed much since the summary was released in October.
After five years, capped by five days of intense, around-the-clock negotiation, trade ministers from the twelve Tran-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries announced they had reached a deal in Atlanta Sunday night. From information available so far, it looks like there were improvements in some areas of interest for developing countries. But I still have concerns in the three areas I wrote about in July.
Representatives from the 12 countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement are in Hawaii this week trying to close the deal. US negotiators are insisting that Canada must reform its supply management system for dairy and allow more imports, while conceding that maybe the United States could let in just a wee bit more foreign sugar, as long as it doesn’t disrupt the US supply management program for sugar! Being a big, powerful country is great. But if you’re a small country, and particularly a relatively poor one, trade negotiations are trickier. And if you are a poor country outside the negotiations, you have no say at all on how the negotiations will affect your interests.
The Senate approved the much-debated, and delayed, trade promotion authority (TPA) bill just in time to head off for the Memorial Day recess. The fate of the bill in the even more fractious House of Representatives remains uncertain, as does the US role as leader of an open, rules-based trade system.
In honor of Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s recent visit to Washington, I thought I would try to distill my thoughts about the recent flurry of trade activity into a haiku:
TTIP, stuck on red?
TPP, waiting for what?
Okay, so I’m no poet. And the acronyms might make my verse a little hard to follow for the non-trade wonks in CGD’s audience. Here’s a brief translation.