On March 13, 11 countries signed a trade agreement in a deal that was supposed to include the United States. This agreement was formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The TPP was an agreement between 12 countries, including the U.S., to help deepen economic ties, reduce tariffs and promote a new world trade market. This pact was signed in February 2016 among the countries that make up about 40 percent of the world’s economic output, according to the BBC.
President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the trade agreement in 2017, calling the deal “another disaster done and pushed by special interests who want to rape our country, just a continuing rape of our country,” according to NBC.
Since the U.S. backed out, the 11 remaining countries tweaked the agreement. They have named the new partnership the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership.The agreement eliminates most of the original TPP policies, replacing them with more of an old-fashioned trade agreement, according to Forbes. The 11 counties signed the CPTPPA on March 13. The full text has not yet been released.
The TPP started out as a pact between four countries in 2006: New Zealand, Chile, Brunei and Singapore. Together, these countries are referred to as the Pacific 4. This original deal “removed tariffs on most goods traded between the countries, promised to cut more and also to co-operate on wider issues such as employment practices, intellectual property and competition policies,” according to the BBC.
The U.S. came into the picture in 2008, when former President George W. Bush announced the U.S. would join the P-4 trade discussions regarding financial services and investment, according to Centre for Research on Globalization.
Other counties gradually joined negotiations, until 12 countries decided to join the pact: the U.S., Japan, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Canada, Mexico and Brunei, according to Centre for Research on Globalization.
According to the Electric Frontier Foundation, the TPP was controversial for a few reasons. First, the agreement contained digital policies that would benefit big corporations at the expense of the public. The TPP aimed to increase copyright and intellectual property restrictions and adopt criminal sanctions. Second, the TPP negotiations were also shrouded in secrecy.
Former President Barack Obama treated the TPP as a priority during his tenure, hoping to bolster the economic presence of the U.S. among Asia Pacific, where China is predominant, according to the BBC.