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Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

OVERVIEW

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a regional trade agreement. The TPP seeks to liberalize trade and investment and promote Pacific-wide economic integration. The TPP aims to be a high-standard 21st century agreement that addresses both traditional trade issues and “new” areas, such as intellectual property, state-owned enterprises, e-commerce, labor, and environment. The TPP is intended to serve as a platform for a larger Asia-Pacific trade agreement and envisions the addition of more countries in the future.

The TPP partners include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam.

GOVERNANCE AND DECISION-MAKING

Decisions on substance and process are made by the participating countries. The parties will have to reach agreement on all matters brought before the negotiations.

There are designated “Chairs” for the various negotiating areas to facilitate process and other functions. The Chair of the environment negotiations is Canada.

Negotiating rounds have been occurring regularly since 2011. The TPP parties also have meetings of their ministers and chief negotiators, and various bilateral meetings.

Country delegations issue updates and statements on the status of negotiations and hold consultations and meetings with external stakeholders. A primary channel of action is through direct outreach, education, and advocacy with the participating country governments.

HISTORY AND EXPERIENCE OF the TPP ON FISHERIES SUBSIDIES

The TPP countries represent 36 percent of the global marine catch and include five of the top ten global producers.16

The TPP became particularly important for fisheries subsidies reform as the WTO Doha round began to falter. This led some of the countries that were proponents of reform at the WTO to more aggressively and actively pursue fisheries subsidies in the TPP, including disciplines on subsidies. The TPP is viewed as a complementary effort to any multilateral agreement on fisheries subsidies that may eventually emerge from the WTO.

The TPP will potentially include prohibitions of subsidies that affect fisheries in overfished conditions, and subsidies that are found to be linked to Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, in addition to a commitment to refrain from creating new programs or extending or enhancing current subsidies programs. The TPP partners are also negotiating other provisions on fisheries management, bycatch reduction, conservation of sharks and other vulnerable marine species, seafood traceability, and IUU fishing.

What could THE TPP produce/do on fisheries subsidies?

The TPP presents an important opportunity to achieve the first international provisions to control and reduce fisheries subsidies. The TPP will have legally enforceable trade rules and disciplines. These rules and disciplines can be used to bind commitments on fisheries subsidies on the TPP parties. The TPP could also establish cooperative plans to freeze or reduce fisheries subsidies as well as propagate best practices for the fisheries sector with an aim towards curbing harmful fisheries subsidies.

Achievement on fisheries subsidies reform in the TPP would be precedent setting and help shape international trade rules as it will likely serve as a reference for future trade agreements.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Contact is through the governments of the TPP countries.

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