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|Progress Continues in Trans-Pacific Partnership Talks|
|Thursday, October 11 2012 11:13|
September 15, 2012
Leesburg, Virginia – Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators have continued to make progress at the 14th round of negotiations, which ended today in Leesburg, Virginia. Responding to direction in the September 9th statement of TPP Leaders issued at Vladivostok, Russia, negotiators in Leesburg focused on resolving outstanding issues where possible and narrowing differences on those that still need work.
Over the 10-day negotiating round, negotiators from the United States and the other eight TPP countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – advanced their efforts to reach agreement on the texts of the 29 chapters of the agreement. The teams were pleased with progress made on a wide range of chapters, including market access, customs, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, cross border services, telecommunications, government procurement, and others. TPP member delegations also continued to move forward in constructing the tariff and other specific market-opening commitments that each country is making on industrial goods, agriculture, textiles, services and investment, and government procurement. Along with this progress, the nine countries also reported a continued focus on other important issues from intellectual property rights to labor and environment and other topics that address core issues faced by manufacturers, service providers, farmers, ranchers, and workers in the 21st century.
Through the TPP, the Obama Administration is seeking to conclude a state-of-the-art trade and investment agreement with some of the most dynamic economies in the Asia Pacific, boosting U.S. exports and supporting the creation and retention of U.S. jobs, while advancing core U.S. values such as labor rights and environmental protection.
The Leesburg negotiating round was structured by the United States to continue to provide stakeholders who accepted the invitation to be on-site during the talks with input and information regarding the round. On September 9, more than 250 stakeholders representing 93 groups from civil society, business, labor and regional development organizations spoke one-on-one or in small groups with TPP negotiators in a Direct Stakeholder Engagement Forum; 60 presenters also accepted the opportunity to give brief presentations on their views on key negotiating issues. That same day, U.S. Chief Negotiator and Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Barbara Weisel and fellow chief negotiators briefed stakeholders and took questions on the substance and process of the TPP talks.
At the close of a final press briefing today, it was announced that the 15th round of TPP negotiations will be held in Auckland, New Zealand December 3-12.
Mexico and Canada will join the TPP negotiations once current TPP members successfully conclude their domestic procedures, which is expected to occur in early October.