What You Need To Know About The Biggest Free Trade Agreement Ever And How It Affects Climate Change [View all]
resident Obama planned this week to embark on a multi-stop trip to Asia, with the goal of concluding talks on a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is well on its way to becoming the largest Free Trade Agreement in the world, and it has major implications for efforts to curb climate change and protect the environment.
But thanks to the government shutdown, two of those stops have been canceled and the others are in question.
Still, the twelve countries involved will go on despite the President’s absence, and the potential economic impacts of the agreement are tremendous: The total gross domestic product (GDP) of the current TPP parties — which include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam — is approximately $27.5 trillion. They comprise 40 percent of global GDP and one third of world trade. Of this amount, the United States accounts for approximately $15.5 trillion, or almost 60 percent of TPP GDP.
Negotiations And Background
Negotiations over the TPP have been held out of public view, making it the first-ever classification of a trade agreement, according to the Montreal-based Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG). The United States currently has 20 active free trade agreements (FTA) in place, including major ones like the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). According to Public Citizen, while TPP information has been kept from the public, more than 600 corporate advisers have access to the treaty’s text — including companies such as Halliburton, Monsanto, the American Petroleum Institute, and Chevron. As a result, CRG believes the TPP will, amongst other negative things, empower corporations to attack environmental and health safeguards.