You are invited: The Trans-Pacific Partnership: New Rules for a New Era

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The Program on America and the Global Economy, the Asia Program, the Canada Institute, the Kissinger Institute, the Latin American Program and the Mexico Institute with the support of Wilson Center Senior Scholar William Krist Present:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: New Rules for a New Era 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

2:00 – 5:00 pm

Flom Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson Center


WELCOME and KEYNOTE:

2:00 pm – 2:40 pm

Robert Zoellick, Harvard Belfer Center and  Peterson Institute for International Economics; former president of the World Bank, former United States Deputy Secretary of State and former U.S. Trade Representative

PANEL 1: How the TPP fits into other regional trade agreements.

2:50 pm – 3:50 pm

NAFTA, FTA between Canada and the EU:

  Ari Van Assche, Professor, International Business, HEC Montreal

TTIP:            Michael Geary, Fellow, Wilson Center and Assistant Professor, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

ASEAN:        Roberto Herrera-Lim, Director, Eurasia Group

PANEL 2: Current countries involved in the TPP and what it will take for a successful negotiation.

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Australia: Joshua Meltzer, Fellow, Global Economy and Development, Brookings Institution

Vietnam:  Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Cuong, Ambassador of Vietnam to the United States

Chile:       Marcos Robledo, Professor of International Relations and Foreign Policy, Universidad Diego Portales

Moderator:  Kent Hughes, Director, Program on America and the Global Economy, Wilson Center


 

Please RSVP (acceptances only) to page@wilsoncenter.org

The Wilson Center is located in the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. (Federal Triangle Metro stop on the Blue/ Orange Line) For a map and directions see: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/directions.  Please bring a photo ID and arrive 15 minutes ahead to allow time for the security checkpoint. 

Media guests, including TV crews, are welcome and should RSVP directly to elizabeth.white@wilsoncenter.org

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Global Trade and the State of the Union

SOTUUnsurprisingly, the State of the Union address focused primarily on the domestic economy. President Obama emphasized issues such as the looming sequester and the need for immigration, entitlement, and tax reform. In terms of major announcements on the international trade front, the President revealed that the US aims to start talks with the EU towards creating a “comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership.” This is a significant development for a multitude of reasons. A free trade partnership between the US and the EU would streamline trade by reducing regulatory barriers and tariffs, thereby expanding the already huge amounts of exchange. Not only would a transatlantic free trade agreement heighten the interconnectedness of these two massive markets, it would drive growth, deflect increasing competition from China, and would help reestablish the authority of the United States and Europe as leaders of the global economy.

The President also announced that the US is on course to finish negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that will substantially increase US trade presence in the Pacific. There was no date given about when the talks would be complete, but it appears that things are falling into place. In addition, the President outlined some domestic economic policies that were relevant to global trade issues. For instance, President Obama’s unveiling of the “Fix-It-First” program, which intends to put people to work on urgent infrastructure repairs, could improve US trade performance through more efficient and faster travel times. Smart Grid enhancement would make the US a more appealing place to do business and it would protect vital information trade-lanes from cyber disruptions. The energy boom, both through enhanced fossil fuel production and clean energy development, will allow the US to dramatically increase its energy exports and could fundamentally transform the global energy trade. Through the creation of innovation centers, President Obama wants to accelerate the continuing trend of re-shoring in order to increase US export trade.

While domestic issues were clearly the main theme of the address, it is vital that President Obama address the larger context issues of global trade to enact policy that will take advantage of new economic opportunities. It would also be a mistake to underestimate the potential of trade as a key engine of economic growth for the US and the global community. A secure and healthy global economic structure is important in order to maintain further international stability.

Posted by: Matthew Goldberg

Sources: Wilson Center, United States Trade Representative, ABC News, Department of Energy

Photo Credit: Presidential Seal courtesy of flickr user Dave Newman

Live Webcast August 8:The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Future of International Trade

The Program on America and the Global Economy(PAGE), the Asia Program, the Canada Institute, the Kissinger Institute, the Latin American Program (LAP) and the Mexico Institute with the Support of Wilson Center Senior Scholar William Krist Presents:

 The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the

Future of International Trade

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

2:00 – 5:00 pm

2:00 pm – 2:40 pm KEYNOTE:  Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative

2:50 pm – 3:50 pm PANEL 1: New and Future Participants
Canada: Laura Dawson, President of Dawson Strategic and a Former Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center
China: Jeff Schott, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics
Japan: Edward Lincoln, Professor, George Washington University
Mexico: Luz Maria De La Mora Sanchez, Professor of CIDE, former Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center
Moderator: Kent Hughes – Program on America and the Global Economy

4:00 pm – 5:00 pm PANEL 2: Key U.S. Interests
Jim Grueff, Trade Consultant and former trade negotiator for the Foreign Agricultural Service
Linda Menghetti, Vice President, Emergency Committee for American Trade
Celeste Drake, Trade Policy Specialist, AFL-CIO
Stephanie Burgos, Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam America
Moderator: Kent Hughes – Program on America and the Global Economy

Watch the live webcast here.
Posted by: PAGE Staff

Guest Contributor William Krist: Negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

The only major current trade negotiation that the U.S. is engaged in at this time is the negotiation for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement with eight other nations in Asia and the Americas.  And Canada and Mexico are expected to join the negotiations in December.  If successful, the resulting free trade area would include Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam, as well as the U.S.  With multilateral negotiations in the WTO now stalled, the TPP offers the best opportunity for additional trade liberalization.  More importantly, if done right, this agreement could provide a template for future WTO negotiations and for a broad agreement with the 21 member nations in Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, a group of 21 Pacific Rim countries that includes China, Indonesia and Russia.

Negotiators made progress in the most recent round of negotiations held in San Diego from July 2 to 10, although there are a number of controversial issues that remain.  The next negotiating round is scheduled for September 6 to 15 in Leesburg, Virginia, although it is unlikely that negotiators will resolve the critical issues until after the U.S. presidential election.

Click here to view a background paper on the TPP and key issues.

 

 

William K. Krist is a Senior Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center.  He is a former Senior Vice President of the American Electronics Association.  He has written extensively on trade, development, and the environment.  Anthony Gausepohl is his Research Assistant at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Our New Trade Frontier: The Asian-Pacific Rim

In May the 12th round of talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) took place in Dallas, Texas where officials from the nine countries– United States, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam– met to discuss what could become the single largest jolt to the American economy since the Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2008. If agreed upon, the free trade agreement would strengthen economic relations with a region that currently serves as the fourth largest trading market for the United States.  Also, the TPP could significantly widen what is already an emerging market for NAFTA partners. In 2010, trade with the Asia-Pacific region totaled $775 billion, and accounted for 72% of all U.S. agricultural exports to the world marketplace.

The Obama Administration has made the TPP a central item to its trade agenda for the upcoming election, and has marketed its potential impact as being an “economic stimulus package that doesn’t require the federal government to spend more money (or go deeper into debt). The agreement would formalize trade in traditional sectors such as industrial goods, agriculture, and textiles between the United States and its Asian-Pacific partners, as well as develop universal guidelines to defend intellectual property rights, regulate trade barriers, and enforce labor laws and environmental standards. Additionally, the TPP will address trade and compliance issues to better monitor foreign investment in products and services, streamline the exchange of digital technologies, and allow for the competition of state-owned enterprises with the private sector to protect against American economic disenfranchisement.

Since its conception, there have been strong, varying opinions of the TPP. Some contend that the TPP is just an extension of corporate greed and western expansion, like the Citizens Trade Campaign who argued that passage of the TPP will “do everything from hurt public health to accelerate global warming.” While many in Washington on both sides of the isle see the TPP as a catalyst for building and maintaining the types of jobs Americans need most to remain competitive in the technology and manufacturing industries.

Posted By: Jonathan Sherman

Sources: The Washington Times, Forbes Magazine, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Photo credit: Jefe de Estado participó hoy en la Reunión de Negociaciones del Acuerdo de Asociación Transpacífico (TPP) courtesy of flickr user Presidencia Perú

Event Report: Game Change in the Asia-Pacific: The South China Sea and TPP

Game Change in the Asia-Pacific: The South China Sea and TPP

March 27, 2012

Organized by the Asia Program and cosponsored by the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States and the Program on America and the Global Economy

Speaker: Takashi Terada, Wilson Center Japan Scholar; Professor of International Political Economy, Waseda University

 

China has recently been a major force in political games in the Asia-Pacific. According to Wilson Center Japan Scholar Takashi Terada, speaking at a March 27 Asia Program event, cosponsored by the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States and the Program on America and the Global Economy, Beijing has succeeded in partly disengaging the United States from the trade framework in Southeast Asia by promoting “low quality” Free Trade Agreements (FTA) in the region. China has also viewed the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and East Asia Summit (EAS) as convenient non-binding and consensus-based arenas that allow Beijing to avoid dealing with hard issues such as maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

The Obama administration’s much-discussed “Asia Pivot,” according to Terada, is an attempt to reinsert the United States into regional political games, as evidenced by a change in the focus and nature of different international arrangements. This shift is perhaps most evident in the administration’s focus on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) multilateral FTA. The attempt to create a high-quality regional framework consistent with World Trade Organization standards on intellectual property and labor stands in stark contrast to the proliferation of bilateral arrangements, promoted by China, that focus on tariffs and are riddled with exemptions and exceptions.

America’s involvement in the regional order and its preference for standardized rules-based agreements is also evident in changes in Asian security architecture. Previously, regional discussion on security focused on “soft” or non-traditional security issues through a pattern of dialogue stressing consensus and non-interference in sovereign affairs. Since the end of the Bush administration, however, the United States and other democratic nations in the region have begun to construct a rules-based framework that tackles traditional “hard” security issues, such as territorial disputes. This has been marked by a shift away from a focus on the ARF, which has the reputation of being more a discussion session than a meeting with clear political goals, and greater emphasis on more substantive deliberations at the EAS, in which the United States is now a full participant.

Such a shift is a concern for Beijing, which has significant territorial claims in the South China Sea. The body of water is an important fishing ground that has an estimated 23-30 billion barrels of oil under its floor. It is therefore, according to Terada, no wonder that Beijing, thirsty for fuel, sees the sea as an area of strategic interest. China’s claims are contested by numerous states in the region, and Beijing has usually stressed its position on the South China Sea in bilateral talks with these nations. The White House’s insistence on using the EAS to “address strategic and security challenges” by reaffirming “international rules and norms in these areas,” thus poses problems for Beijing’s approach to these disputes. China is therefore engaged is subtle attempts to resist greater U.S. engagement in the region.

These attempts include trying to influence Tokyo’s approach towards regional integration. Japan’s economy is twice the size of the accumulated current membership of the TPP, which does not yet include the United States. Japanese and American membership in the agreement would therefore make the TPP greatly attractive to other potential members, further strengthening American engagement in the region. According to Terada, Tokyo’s interest in the TPP has resulted in a more flexible Chinese stance towards Japan, designed to present Tokyo with alternative options to TPP ascension and other developments that China views in the context of American attempts to enter the region. China has recently been enthusiastic about proposals from Tokyo to discuss, along with Seoul, an investment treaty as part of a broader trilateral FTA, a framework that Beijing previously resisted. China has also been more amenable to Japanese preferences for regional dialogue, as Beijing moves away from its insistence on discussions that include the ASEAN countries and only Korea, Japan, and China (the ASEAN+3 model) and moving towards a broader model, which, in addition to these countries, incorporates New Zealand, Australia, and India (or ASEAN+6). Despite these concessions, Japan is, according to Terada, still committed, particularly in the security arena, to a rules-based order in Asia that includes the United States as a key player.

A complete video of this event can be found here.

By Bryce Wakefield

Robert M. Hathaway, Director, Asia Program

You Are Invited: Game Change in the Asia-Pacific: The South China Sea and TPP

  THE ASIA PROGRAM, THE KISSINGER INSTITUTE ON CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES, and

THE PROGRAM ON AMERICA AND THE GLOBAL ECONOMY

 Present

 Game Change in the Asia-Pacific: The South China Sea and TPP

 Tuesday, March 27, 2012     4:00 p.m.–5:15 p.m.

5th Floor Conference Room

 Speaker:

 Takashi Terada, Professor, Doshisha University; Wilson Center Japan Scholar

 China has recently been a major force in political games in the Asia-Pacific. For example, it has succeeded in partly disengaging the United States from the trade framework in Southeast Asia by promoting “low quality” Free Trade Agreements in the region. China has also viewed the ASEAN Regional Forum and East Asia Summit as convenient non-binding and consensus-based arenas that allow Beijing to avoid dealing with hard issues such as maritime disputes in the South China Sea. The Obama administration’s much-discussed “Asia Pivot” is an attempt to reinsert the United States into regional political games and is perhaps most evident in the administration’s focus on the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral FTA. How is the United States’ reemergence as a regional player changing the existing components of the political game? What trade and strategic initiatives is Washington undertaking? How will other regional players, such as Japan and India, respond to American and Chinese moves?

Media organizations are requested to contact the Asia Program in advance at 202/691-4020 or asia@wilsoncenter.org. Otherwise, RSVPs are NOT necessary.  Please allow for routine security procedures when you arrive at the Center. A photo ID is required for entry. The Center is located in the southeast wing of the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. The closest Metro station is Federal Triangle on the blue and orange lines. For detailed directions, please visit the Center’s website, www.wilsoncenter.org/directions.