The second round of negotiations for a comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement between the U.S. and seven other countries concluded in California in June. Progress on the agreement is moving forward with trade officials hopeful that the text of all chapters of the agreement will be tabled in the third negotiation round set for Brunei in October.
The partnership would bring the U.S. together with four countries that already have free trade deals with the U.S. - Singapore, Chile, Australia and Peru - as well as New Zealand, Brunei, and Vietnam. Canada and Malaysia have also expressed interest in joining the pact.
The second round aimed to settle a key issue of how the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership would overlap with existing free trade deals between its members. Trade officials reportedly stated there was also consensus on other issues, such as exploring additional measures related to job creation and the environment. Yet, sorting out details related to market opening timelines and other issues will take more time.
(Sources: Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; The Wall Street Journal )