Lead negotiators for the 12 nations participating in the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the latest round of talks, which concluded Tuesday, Dec. 10, in Singapore. The group also announced its intention to meet again in January. This means the goal of concluding the agreement by the end of this year will not be met, but most observers had expected the negotiations to extend into 2014.
“Over the course of this meeting, we identified potential ‘landing zones’ for the majority of key outstanding issues in the text,” the group said in a joint statement. “We will continue to work with flexibility to finalize these text issues as well as market access issues. For all TPP countries, an ambitious, comprehensive and high-standard agreement that achieves the goals established in Honolulu in 2011 is critical for creating jobs and promoting growth, providing opportunity for our citizens and contributing to regional integration and the strengthening of the multilateral trading system.”
USTR has also posted an updated fact sheet on the potential economic benefits of the TPP.