ASEAN and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed regional FTA amongst Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

Ongoing negotiations cover areas such as market access, trade barriers, sanitation, rules of origin, customs clearing, customs cooperation, investment, services, legal and institutional protocols, government procurement and laws surrounding competition and intellectual property amongst others. The objective is to achieve a body of legislation prescribing rules and disciplines on the above areas.

The TPP in its current draft will include only four ASEAN members, thus missing the largest ASEAN economy (Indonesia), the two U.S. treaty allies (Thailand and the Philippines), and three of the four newest ASEAN members (Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar). Together, these countries make up three-quarters of the region’s population and two-thirds of its GDP. As a result of these considerations, it is likely that the TPP will continue to take some time before coming to fruition.