Despite the optimism and time pressure going into the latest round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, no agreement was reached by the conclusion of the talks last week in Maui. Because TPP will drastically reduce duty rates and eliminate merchandise processing fees (MPF) on products from some of this country’s largest trading partners, the TPP is likely to have a significant impact on the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zone Program if passed. (more)
With Trade Promotion Authority fresh in hand, the United States Trade Representative was optimistic and hopeful that the negotiations on TPP could be wrapped up in one more round of discussions. There have now been at least ten formal and countless informal rounds of discussions amongst the 12 countries that are taking part in the negotiations.
The representatives were optimistic that a deal can still be reached quickly and would not identify the hurdles to an agreement. Likely culprits are access to dairy and agriculture markets in Japan and Canada, and recognition of US intellectual property rights, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry.
Dates for the next round of talks were not set at the conclusion of the most recent meeting. With the presidential primary races now in full swing, the United States will likely be interested in getting back to the bargaining table as soon as the reticent member nations are ready to resume discussions in earnest.