In February 2016, 12 nations signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP). A central goal for negotiators was to modernize the extant rules of trade and investment, which had not been significantly updated at the multilateral level since the Doha Round began in 2001. Equally important was the objective of disseminating these rules beyond the TPP by enticing other countries, such as China, to adopt these rules to advance domestic economic reforms. The American withdrawal from the TPP represented a major setback, but the remaining 11 countries reached a broad agreement during the APEC summit meeting in November 2017, pointing to a path forward in relaunching the trade deal. The potential reach of the TPP disciplines is also evident as they shape ongoing efforts to modernize the North American Free Trade Agreement.
On January 29, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies hosted a panel of experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges of disseminating TPP standards in two critical areas: the digital economy and internet governance, and competitive neutrality and state-owned enterprises. The United States and Japan share the goal of advancing these disciplines even after the American withdrawal from the TPP. Experts from Japan and the United States discussed strategies that each country can pursue in on-going or new trade negotiations to advance TPP rules in these critical areas.
PanelistTsuyoshi Kawase Professor, Faculty of Law - Department of Legal Studies of the Global Environment, Sophia University, Faculty Fellow - Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI)Maki Kunimatsu Chief Policy Analyst - Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting, Visiting Professor - Graduate School of Strategic Management, Chuo University