Ninth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations
The ninth round of TPP negotiations concluded on 28 October in Lima, Peru. The 10 day round had around 870 delegates in attendance, including negotiators, stakeholders and media.
Progress continued to be made on the text of the agreement, with significant progress made in a number of chapters including Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) and Rules of Origin (ROOs). A new proposal on State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) was tabled, which will be discussed in the Competition Policy working group. Virtually all text is now on the table, though a further proposal on labour issues is expected in the near future. Significant progress was also made in discussions on provisions that seek to ensure the benefits of the agreement are accessible to SMEs, improve regulatory coherence in the region, further develop regional competitiveness and supply chains, and that recognise the development priorities of the nine parties.
There was steady progress in the market access negotiations on goods, services and investment, and government procurement. Parties plan to prepare revised offers based on these discussions and requests made for improvements in specific areas, continuing the process of building an ambitious market access outcome.
There are a number of sensitive and complex proposals on the table, including on intellectual property and transparency. While parties are engaging constructively, these issues will take time to reach an outcome that satisfies all nine parties. It should be noted that any TPP member is at liberty to make any proposal it chooses but a proposal is simply that - text proposals have no status unless agreed by all the parties.
This round was the last round before TPP Ministers and Leaders meet during the APEC Summit in Hawaii. In their meetings, Ministers and Leaders will review the progress of the negotiations and offer guidance to negotiators moving forward. We will provide further information on the outcomes of the meetings on the DFAT website in due course.
Australian negotiators also attended the stakeholder forum hosted by the Peruvian Government on Sunday 23 October. Stakeholders presented on issues such as intellectual property, investment, environmental issues, and how textiles will be handled in the agreement.
During the round, Australian officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Austrade and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, presented at a forum hosted by PromPeru (Peru's export development agency) to highlight the potential benefits of the agreement to the export community. Australia's presentations covered our customs and quarantine regimes, and the Peru-Australia trade relationship.