Beginner's guide: What is the TPP?

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key with other leaders, including United States President Barack Obama at a Trans Pacific Partnership leaders meeting last year.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key with other leaders, including United States President Barack Obama at a Trans Pacific Partnership leaders meeting last year.

Here are ten things to know about the Trans Pacific Partnership:

* Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations began in March 2010, after President Barack Obama endorsed George W. Bush's commitment to join.

* TPP began as a free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and Singapore, then became the Pacific 4 (P4) when Chile and Brunei joined.

* The US is effectively leading the negotiations.

* 12 countries are now negotiating: US, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Japan.

* The deal covers more than just market access and tariffs; it includes intellectual property rights, foreign investment rules, labour and environment standards, procurement policies, state-owned enterprises and competition, and disputes procedures.

* Population of the 12 countries combined is 792 million.

* GDP of the 12 countries in 2012 was $US27 trillion, of which the United States was $US15.6 trillion.

* Among TPP countries, NZ has free trade agreements with Australia, Singapore, Brunei and Chile, Vietnam and Malaysia.

* TPP would give NZ a new free trade agreement with the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Peru.

* The US already has an FTA with six of the 12 TPP countries. TPP would give it a new FTA with Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, New Zealand, and Chile.

- NZ Herald

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