The trade ministers from the 12 participating TPP countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam) after five (5) days of round-the-clock negotiations in Atlanta agreed on Monday, Oct 5, 2015 to the largest regional trade agreement in history. The final sticking points in Atlanta centered on the length of market protections for an emerging class of pharmaceuticals, tariffs for dairy products and rules governing how to classify where automobiles are manufactured.
The TPP still faces months of debate in Congress even as presidential candidates, labor unions and liberal activists line up to oppose the agreement. On the other hand, Congress gave the president “fast track” trade promotion authority (TPA) in June, which guarantees that trade agreements will receive expedited consideration in Congress and a yes-or-no vote without amendments or filibusters.
The full text of the Agreement’s thirty (30) chapters will not be available for a month. Under the terms of the fast-track legislation, the president must wait 90 days after the TPP agreement is completed before he signs it and sends it to Congress for a vote, and the text of the accord must be made public for at least 60 of those days.
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