Eighteenth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations
Parties made solid progress across the text of the agreement and had productive discussions on a range of more challenging issues, as the negotiations entered an advanced stage. On 23 July, TPP parties welcomed the newest member Japan to the negotiating table for the first time.
Parties succeeded in finding ways to resolve many of the technical issues in the text of all chapters across the agreement. Negotiators will take up remaining outstanding issues through intersessional work, in order to advance progress prior to the next round of negotiations. Negotiators also continued discussions to narrow differences on a range of challenging issues in intellectual property, environment and state-owned enterprises in order to find common ground in these areas.
Market access talks on goods took on a new momentum as Parties agreed to accelerate negotiations to achieve the objective of comprehensive trade liberalisation in the TPP region. Efforts also continued to develop comprehensive packages on market access for services and investment, and government procurement.
Joining the negotiating table on 23 July, Japan participated actively in the ongoing negotiations and showed readiness to integrate into the negotiations and keep up with their demanding pace. Existing eleven TPP parties endeavoured to facilitate Japan's integration into the negotiations, providing extensive briefing on the state of play, both generally and concerning specific issues as questions were raised. With Japan's participation, the TPP region now represents a market of a combined GDP of US$27 trillion, accounting for one third of global trade.
With the negotiations now entering an advanced stage with challenging issues remaining on the table, Chief Negotiators from twelve TPP countries instructed negotiators to continue engage through inter-sessional work programs and to keep up the momentum toward progress through to the next round.
The 19th round of TPP negotiations will be held in Brunei from 24 - 30 August.