Sixteenth round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations
The 16th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement negotiations were held in Singapore from 4 – 13 March 2013. At the close of the Round, Singapore as Chair of the round reported that there was "renewed focus and vigour in the negotiations" as well as "a distinct sense the negotiations were shifting gears", with the goal being to put the negotiations on an accelerated track toward conclusion of a comprehensive agreement in the 2013 timeframe.
Parties succeeded in finding ways forward for many of the remaining issues in the texts of the agreement, achieving consensus on outstanding issues in customs, telecommunications, regulatory coherence and development. Any remaining work in these chapters will be taken up in late-stage rounds as the agreement is finalised. Parties also narrowed differences on a wide range of issues relating to government procurement, investment, services, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures and intellectual property. Efforts continued to develop comprehensive packages on market access for goods, services and investment, and government procurement. Chief Negotiators have said that the focus for the next rounds of negotiations would be on seeking to resolve the most challenging issues, including intellectual property, competition and environment.
More than 300 stakeholders, including nine from Australian businesses and civil society groups, participated in the round. The TPP negotiations adjourned temporarily on 6 March so that negotiators could participate in the stakeholder program, which provided an opportunity for direct engagement with stakeholders and for 60 stakeholders to make presentations on a wide variety of issues. Chief Negotiators also held a briefing session for stakeholders on 6 March, and a media conference on 13 March, and took questions on the substance and process of the TPP Talks.
The 17th round of TPP negotiations will be held in Lima, Peru, from 15-24 May.