TPP Countries Near Agreement without U.S. Participation Page: 2 of 5
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may strengthen perceptions of U.S. disengagement in Asia, which many analysts say could
impact the U.S. ability to pursue other goals in the region. Congress, which oversees and sets
objectives for the Administration in trade negotiations and passes legislation to implement
U.S. FTAs, could play an important role in U.S. trade policy responses to the CPTPP. The
United States has existing FTAs with six of the CPTPP members with many provisions similar
to those in the new agreement, including near complete tariff elimination. This suggests the
most significant economic effects for the United States may relate to the CPTPP members
without a U.S. FTA, notably Japan, Malaysia, and Vietnam. The new CPTPP would enter into
force 60 days following the ratification of the agreement by 6 of its members.
Suspension of TPP Provisions
In order to preserve U.S. interest in the TPP, Japan, which is now leading the CPTPP
negotiating process, has pushed for the CPTPP to suspend TPP provisions where consensus
could not be reached, rather than amend them. The parties agreed to suspend 20 provisions,
which primarily were sought by the United States and agreed to by other countries in return
for access to U.S. markets. This was especially true in the area of intellectual property rights
(IPR) where the CPTPP suspended provisions on
" patentability for inventions derived from plants;
" patents for new uses, processes, or methods of existing products (so-called
" patent term adjustment for marketing and patent approval delays;
. protection of undisclosed test data for chemical and biological drugs;
" the author/creator life +70 year copyright term;
" legal liability and safe harbor provisions for internet service providers;
" circumvention and digital rights management;
. protections of encryption and satellite program and cable signals.
In the investment chapter, investor-state-dispute-settlement (ISDS) is suspended with respect
to investment screening (e.g., the criteria by which a party approves an investment), and also
with respect to investment agreements between a host state government and an investor. These
changes potentially could lead to a requirement to use domestic courts and apply domestic
laws to resolve some investment disputes, counter to longstanding U.S. objectives in bilateral
investment treaties and FTAs. In e-commerce, the parties suspended the obligation to review
de minimis tariff levels on express shipments. The parties also removed a provision to
"promote compliance" with local labor laws in the procurement of goods or services, and one
section of a provision related to the prohibition against illegal trade in wildlife. In the event of
the return of the United States to the agreement, reinstatement of the suspended provisions
would require consensus among the existing parties. The parties still must resolve four specific
issues, which include Canada's desire for a blanket cultural exclusion (rather than the narrower
chapter-by-chapter exclusions in the TPP) and Malaysia's exceptions to state-owned enterprise
Concerns over Effects on U.S. Export Competitiveness
U.S. stakeholders in export-oriented industries have raised concerns that an enacted CPTPP
could disadvantage U.S. firms and workers in CPTPP markets. Tariff schedules are expected
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Fergusson, Ian F. & Williams, Brock R. TPP Countries Near Agreement without U.S. Participation, report, November 20, 2017; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1043220/m1/2/?q=%22trade%22: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.