U.S. COALITION FOR TPP DIPLOMATIC WORKING GROUP NEWSLETTER
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“…The Australian Electoral Commission Aug. 4 finally confirmed the Senate results of the July 2 federal election, and the results have strengthened the hand of those opposed to free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)… The government led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will have 30 Senate seats, which is down three on the previous Parliament and nine short of the votes it needs to pass legislation… The new parliament will convene on Aug. 30…. ‘The review of the TPP by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties (JSCOT) was not concluded at the time Mr. Turnbull caused the dissolution of the Parliament,’ [Labor’s trade spokesman, Jason] Clare told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 4 by e-mail. ‘The TPP will be examined by JSCOT in the next Parliament – that’s how our treaty system works,’ he said.” Read more here.
“Brunei is in the process of changing some of its domestic regulations and laws as part of preparations to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement for ratification, a senior government official said. Following an outreach programme on the TPP… Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MoFAT) Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi said that Brunei is ‘laying the foundations’ for the ratification process.” Read more here.
“Signing does not equal ratifying. Only a majority vote in our Parliament can allow the Agreement to take force. Signing is simply a technical step in the process, allowing the TPP text to be tabled in Parliament for consideration and debate before any final decision is made. All other countries will follow the same process, and each has up to two years to consider ratification before making a final determination.” Read more here.
“Chile’s Congress decided to postpone a vote on adopting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) due to disagreement within the pro-government coalition Nueva Mayoria (New Majority), Senator Alejandro Navarro said on Monday. Navarro, who leads the political party Broad Social Movement (MAS), said the debate surrounding the TPP, signed by Chile on February 4th in New Zealand, will begin in Congress in April. The topic has not been officially discussed with the benches (Congress) or with the parties that make up the Nueva Mayoria… It is neither a priority nor urgent of the government, said Navarro.” Read more here.
“The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday [March 8, 2016] approved a set of bills to bring into effect the Trans-Pacific Partnership… A total of 11 laws need to be revised in Japan to include new rules and protections against changes brought by TPP.”
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“Japan’s government has also slowed its process for approving the deal despite a formal debate already started in the country’s national Diet. The legislative session is scheduled to end June 1 and lawmakers, for a number of reasons, are unlikely to take a vote until after they reconvene in mid-September, according to Diet sources and outside observers.”
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“Malaysia will most likely be able to complete its domestic ratification legal procedures for the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by mid-2017 said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. For Malaysia, we have started drafting some of the required amendments to comply with the TPP commitments. These will be presented to Parliament by the first half of 2017, he said in a statement out of Arequipa in Peru where the 22nd APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) trade ministers’ meeting is being held.” Read more here.
“The head of the Mexican Senate Political Coordination Committee, Emilio Gamboa, told El Universal on 28 April 2016 he expects the chamber to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in the final quarter of 2016. Gamboa said the debate over the twelve-nation trade pact will be ‘a democratic exercise,’ but admitted ratification would likely occur between September and 15 December 2016.” Read more here.
“The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) bill has passed its first reading at Parliament by three votes… The bill passed 62 votes to 59.” Read more here. This represents the first of three readings which must take place in order to ratify the TPP. To follow the progress of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill, please click here.
“Peru’s government July 21 submitted to Congress a broad trade pact that joins 12 Pacific Rim countries just one day before new lawmakers take their seats in the country’s 130-member unicameral Congress. Prime Minister Pedro Cateriano announced that documentation for approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) had been sent to Congress, saying it will be up to the next Congress to approve the agreement.”
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“US President Barack Obama and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday (Aug 2) together made a strong pitch for the ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. The leaders were speaking at a news conference held after their bilateral meeting at the Oval Office of the White House. A joint statement issued by the US and Singapore noted that the TPP “reflects the commercial dimension of the US rebalance to Asia” as well as Singapore’s commitment to high trade standards.” Read more here.
“The Office of the US Trade Representative on Friday, August 12 submitted to Congress the president’s draft Statement of Administration Action. The submission is necessary for US ratification and implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership… As in past ratification of trade agreements, this SAA will launch substantive consultations between the White House and Congressional leadership, including a series of committee hearings on the Hill. Proponents therefore remain hopeful that following this process Congress will hold a TPP ratification vote by the end of 2016.” Read more here.
“…Whether the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a 12-nation preferential trade agreement that covers about 40 percent of the global economy — is approved by Congress or not, authorities in Vietnam are forging ahead with plans to cut taxes and reduce red tape for businesses to make them more globally competitive. ‘With or without TPP, our goal is to improve our investment environment,’ Tran Xuan Ha, a deputy finance minister, said in an interview in Hanoi on July 22. ‘With TPP, our corporate sector will need to be even more competitive, to ensure it retains market share.’ … The TPP was signed in February and has yet to be ratified by members including Australia, Japan and Singapore. It will come before the National Assembly in Communist Party-controlled Vietnam for approval later this year. Ha said the Finance Ministry will submit draft regulations in August to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to ease business taxes and support startup companies.” Read more here.