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          Viewing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Through an Agriculture Lens (English)
          Discussion paper by Boonekamp, Clemens/UNCTAD, 2016, 56 pages
          Categories: Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements, Trade Related Capacity Building

          The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement will be one of the most consequential trade agreements in twenty years, on par with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or China’s entry to the World Trade Organization (WTO).1 The TPP is deeper and broader than other agreements, containing 30 chapters that bind 12 member countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam) together in ways that are often covered in less depth or are even carved out completely. Most the TPP takes effect immediately. As discussed in greater detail below, roughly 90 percent of all tariffs fall to zero on the date of entry into force of the agreement. All of the services and investment provisions kick in immediately. Much of the remainder of the agreement’s rule book also becomes active from the first day, with some flexibility for some of the rules in areas like intellectual property rights protections for countries like Vietnam. Once the TPP has been fully implemented, nearly all of the tariffs will be at zero for all of the TPP members moving goods between markets in the agreement. These provisions apply even to sensitive items like agriculture. The TPP could dramatically reconfigure supply chains in food and processed food items in ways that past trade agreements did not. The deep and broad commitments in the TPP sets up some interesting new dynamics. It is likely to exacerbate tensions in the global trading system that fall most acutely on the smallest, poorest states as companies increasingly “vote with their feet” and shift production, sales and services into TPP member markets and leave behind non-member markets in the region.