News / Economy

Trans Pacific Trade Deal Delayed

Trans Pacific Trade Deal Delayedi
X
December 12, 2013 11:03 PM
Top trade officials reported progress, but no final deal, after negotiations this week in Singapore on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP. Advocates say the TPP would streamline commerce, boost the economy, and create jobs by coordinating regulations and removing non-tariff barriers for 12 Pacific nations from America to Vietnam. But U.S. critics say some of those "barriers" are hard-won protections for consumers, the environment, and workers. VOA’s Jim Randle reports.
Top trade officials reported progress, but no final deal, after negotiations this week in Singapore on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP.  Advocates say the TPP would streamline commerce, boost the economy, and create jobs by coordinating regulations and removing non-tariff barriers for 12 Pacific nations from America to Vietnam.  But U.S. critics say some of those "barriers" are hard-won protections for consumers, the environment, and workers.

The 12 nations haggling over the Trans Pacific Partnership include some of the world’s most robust economies, accounting for about one-third of global trade.
U. S. Congressman Charles Boustany says a lot of jobs already depend on trade among TPP nations, so more trade would mean more jobs.

“In 2011, trade exports and imports of goods and services with TPP countries supported an estimated 14.9 million American jobs," said Boustany.

The Pacific nations set to resume trade talks in January include Australia, Brunei, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.

Disputes include access to Japan's market for U.S. autos and agricultural products, and haggling among other nations about protection for intellectual property.  

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman hopes further negotiations will bring progress.

"We will continue to work with flexibility to finalize these text issues as well as market access issues," he said.

Experts say previous trade deals focused on cutting tariffs, which made it cheaper to move goods from one nation to another.   Lower costs encouraged more trade.  Tariffs are taxes on goods moving across borders.

TPP is an attempt to increase trade further by making regulations consistent from one nation to another, and getting rid of bureaucratic obstacles that take time, cost money, and slow trade, according to Washington attorney and former trade U. S. trade negotiator Jay Eizenstat.   

"Non tariff barriers, behind the border barriers, and importantly, regulatory barriers, which as I have said impose at least as much ...  and in many cases, more of a barrier to trade in goods and services, than the actual tariffs themselves," said Eizenstat.

But some of those regulations protect consumers, the financial system, the environment, patients, workers, and others from harm, according to Lori Wallach of the advocacy group Public Citizen.  

"They label the fundamental environmental, health, safety standards on which our families rely as 'non-tariff trade barrier,"' she said.

Wallach says the TPP is more about politics than trade.

“A bunch of big corporations have used these trade agreements to try to get done through the back door of these secretive negotiations what they could not get through Congress," she said.

Opposition from some consumer and labor groups and many of President Obama's Democratic Party allies means a TPP deal faces an uncertain future in Washington.  The agreement has to be ratified by many national legislatures, including the U.S. Congress.

TPP supporters hope to work out a legislative agreement to prevent last minute changes by Congress to any agreement that has been worked out with the TPP nations.

You May Like

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.