Trans-Pacific Partnership: Progress Towards a Regional Agreement
The Leaders of the nine Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam) met today on the margins of the APEC Leaders meeting to welcome the solid progress their teams had made so far in trade talks aimed at negotiating a regional trade deal and resolved to seek to conclude the ambitious agreement as swiftly as possible. They reaffirmed their objective of negotiating a high-standard agreement and one that addresses new and emerging trade issues and the 21st century challenges their businesses and workers face.
The Leaders noted that, with the negotiations well underway, TPP is now the most advanced pathway to Asia-Pacific regional economic integration. They also reiterated their goal of expanding the initial group of countries out in stages to other countries across the region, which represents more than half of global output and over 40 percent of world trade.
President Barack Obama, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Brunei Darussalam Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Peruvian President Alan Garcia, and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong formally welcomed Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin (Malaysian Prime Minister Najib was unable to attend) into the negotiations and applauded Vietnam’s President Nguyen Minh Triet on Vietnam’s completion of its domestic procedures to enable it to participate in the TPP as a full member.
The Leaders also expressed gratification at the interest of other Asia-Pacific countries in joining the agreement and directed that talks proceed as soon as possible with these countries, which could lay the groundwork for their future participation.
In his capacity as APEC host, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan participated in the meeting as an observer.