Revamped TPP goes into effect

The 11-country Trans-Pacific Partnership went into effect on Sunday after being ratified by seven countries.


The agreement, now called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, will cut tariffs among the 11 members — and, according to U.S. industry groups and many lawmakers, make American goods less competitive.

The deal has been ratified by Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico and Singapore. The remaining four — Brunei, Chile, Peru and Malaysia — are expected to follow suit in the new year.

U.S. lawmakers have also continued to support U.S. participation in CPTPP. Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE) said earlier this month that the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the pact was “crazy.”

“For years my top priority was the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and if I could somehow resurrect that and put Humpty Dumpty back together I would do that in a minute,” he said. “I think one of the biggest mistakes we will have made in terms of trade policy, economic policy in this country in recent years, is backing out of the TPP and letting it collapse.”

In a Monday statement, Farmers for Free Trade lamented what it called “the beginning of an era of lost opportunity for American farmers and ranchers.” The group cited beef, poultry, grains and dairy as products that will face an “immediate disadvantage.”

“While America stands on the sidelines, countries that directly compete with our farmers – including Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – will begin to receive the tariff-free benefits of a trade agreement the U.S. once stood at the center of,” the statement continued. “Our farmers and ranchers will continue to be at a competitive disadvantage until we reengage with trading partners across the globe and rejoin the many nations that are providing their farmers with the benefits of multilateral trade agreements like CPTPP.”

The U.S. earlier this month released negotiating objectives for the bilateral deal it is seeking with Japan, the biggest CPTPP country. U.S. agriculture groups have long said an agreement with Japan was urgently needed to counteract CPTPP and other deals that will disadvantage U.S. agricultural products in particular.

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