Other US trade venues, the WTO Doha Round, the Korea FTA, and possible FTAs with ASEAN members, are not being forgotten and will be pursued if opportunities arise. But the TPP effort –representing Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam – now tops Washington’s trade agenda.
United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced that the United States would enter into formal negotiations on a regional, Asia- Pacific trade agreement known formally as the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (also known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP). The first negotiating session of this group will meet this week, March 15–19, in Melbourne, Australia. While any positive move from the Obama administration on trade is welcome—especially in light of almost a year's worth of neglect at best and protectionism at worst—there were ominous caveats and concessions in the announcement for those who cared to look. Those murky details call into question the true value of this deal, especially when more valuable, signature-ready agreements are sitting in the hopper.
The Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement was signed by New Zealand,
Chile and Singapore on 18 July 2005 and by Brunei on 2 August 2005, following the
conclusion of negotiations in June 2005.
The Free Trade Agreement between the U.S and Colombia which has been signed but not yet approved.
The Free Trade Agreement between the U.S and Korea which has been signed but not yet approved.
The Trade Promotion Agreement between the U.S and Panama which has been signed but not yet approved.
We now know, courtesy of Wikileaks, that the assessment of Japan’s DPJ, at the highest levels of the US government, was that it was ‘completely different’ from the LDP.