Twelfth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations
The US hosted the twelfth round of TPP negotiations in Dallas, Texas from 8 - 18 May 2012. Better-than-expected progress was made during the ten-day round as negotiators further narrowed differences on many areas of the legal text, and negotiating groups are on a clear path towards concluding most of the more than 20 chapters of the agreement. Issues that could not be resolved at the round will be addressed by specific intersessional work plans.
All parties remain committed to achieving ambitious outcomes, while recognising that flexibility may be required to develop solutions acceptable to all. Particular progress was made in the goods, services, investment, telecommunications, e-commerce, government procurement, customs, intellectual property, labour, and competition working groups. Negotiators concluded negotiations on provisions intended to assist small- and medium-sized businesses to take full advantage of the benefits of the agreement.
Countries continued to work on developing high quality tariff packages that would provide access to each other's industrial and agricultural goods markets, and discussed specific commitments on liberalisation of their services and government procurement markets.
A new format for stakeholder participation was introduced at the round allowing for one-on-one stakeholder engagement with negotiators from all nine TPP parties. Many of the more than 300 registered stakeholders participated in this event and commented that the format allowed for more tailored discussions, to provide direct input to negotiators on specific issues. Chief Negotiators also briefed stakeholders on the progress of the negotiations and answered questions on progress at the round during a US hosted roundtable. Questions from stakeholders focussed on government procurement, intellectual property, investment, and transparency issues.
During the round Australian negotiators also met separately with a variety of stakeholders representing NGOs, academia and business to discuss issues including relating to environment, investment, labour, intellectual property and copyright, and the needs of small businesses.
TPP Trade Ministers will meet in the margins of the upcoming APEC Trade ministers meeting in Kazan, Russia in early June to discuss the progress of the negotiations. Ministers will exchange views on their respective bilateral consultations for considering the membership of Canada, Japan and Mexico in the TPP.
The next round of TPP negotiations will be held in San Diego, California from July 2-10. The Stakeholder Engagement Forum for that round will take place on Monday, July 2nd. Further information will be provided when available.