Trans-Pacific Partnership - TPP

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The 2005 Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4) is a free trade agreement among Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore. It aims to further liberalise the economies of the Asia-Pacific region.

Since 2010, negotiations have been taking place for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposal for a significantly expanded version of TPSEP. The TPP is a proposed free trade agreement under negotiation by (as of August 2013) Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.

The TPP is ostensibly intended to be a "high-standard" agreement specifically aimed at emerging trade issues in the 21st century. These ongoing negotiations have drawn criticism and protest from the public, advocacy groups, and elected officials, in part due to the secrecy of the negotiations, the expansive scope of the agreement, and a number of controversial clauses in drafts leaked to the public.

Japan joined as an observer in the TPP discussions that took place 13–14 November 2010, on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Yokohama. Japan declared its intent to join the TPP negotiations on 13 March 2013 and an official announcement was made by Prime Minister Shinzō Abe on 15 March 2013 . The TPP formally invited Japan to enter negotiations in April, and Japan could become a full negotiating partner in August 2013.
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Four TPP members offer to kill all tariffs
Four of the countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative are offering the other members total tariff elimination on all agricultural and industrial goods, a source close to the talks said.

The move by Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Chile is likely to put pressure on Japan, the second-largest of the 12 TPP economies, to open up its politically sensitive agricultural market, the source said Friday.
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For Japan, which joined the talks in late July but didn’t take part in the tariff negotiations until last month’s round in Brunei, the sessions in Washington were expected to provide further chances for Tokyo to retain tariffs on sensitive farm products, Japanese officials said.

Tokyo is facing strong domestic pressure
to protect sugar, rice, wheat, beef and pork, dairy and other farm products because farmers fear that an influx of cheap imports will devastate the nation’s agricultural sector.

- source : Japan Times, September 2013

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