The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Fair Practices?
Overview:The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a pending international trade agreement among 12 nations bordering the Pacific. Negotiations by-and-large have been secret. Successful completion of the TPP is a cornerstone of President Obama’s “pivot” to Asia.
In November, 2013, a draft version of the TPP Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) chapter was published by WikiLeaks, revealing controversial clauses that have elicited protest from numerous groups about several issues ranging from intellectual property, currency, the Internet, fair trade, human rights, and public health to the environment. Organizations such as the United States Chamber of Commerce enthusiastically support the TPP negotiations, but many groups and organizations see the agreement as unfair and even dangerous for some U.S. businesses.
While the majority of reputable economists believe that free trade contributes to prosperity by creating jobs (maximizing comparative advantages), some believe that current US trade policy contributes to ever increasing income inequality in the United States. Hundreds of activist groups are protesting, demonstrating, and signing letters urging Congress to reject TPP. Their complaints include an under-mining of financial regulations, labor rights, public procurement, allowing corporate suit of foreign governments (‘investor-state’ provisions), restricting access to generic drugs, challenging food safety regulations, restricting Internet use, delaying action on climate change, and limiting exportation of oil, liquid natural gas, coal, and water.
A Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act introduced in January 2014, designed to grant the President ‘fast track’ negotiating authority to speed international trade agreements through Congress was denied a hearing by the Senate Majority Leader and probably will never reach the Senate Floor. Without its passage, the President faces formidable obstacles to ratify the TPP, provided the twelve countries agree to a text.
This webinar will bring together national and international experts to explain what has made the TPP so controversial, why it is important, and the obstacles it faces. They will suggest how businesses can best prepare for any changes the TPP could bring about. The current agenda to be addressed of the speakers will be:
- What is the TPP?
- Role of U.S. Domestic Policy
- Role of U.S. Foreign Policy
- Summary and Conclusions
I. What is the TPP?
- A U.S. Response To Failing Trade Agreements (Vaughn)
- High Standard, Comprehensive Agreement
- A Strategic U.S. Response To Smaller Asian Partners (Feldman)
- Engaging China
- Containing China
- Contradicting China With Vietnam
- An American Attempt To Revise Global Environmental Agreements (Sanders)
- Fixing NAFTA
- Protecting the environment and jobs
II. What is the role of domestic policy?
- TPA as key (Feldman)
- The President proceeded backwards
- The President has not committed sufficiently
- Free Trade Republicans will not give the President a signature foreign policy achievement and there are no supportive Democratic leaders
- One-time only TPA is not likely: consequences for TTIP (lack of transparency)
- TPA as key (Vaughn)
- Support in the middle: reacting to the economic crisis
- Opposition from left and right
- Debate over inequality
- Environmentalists leading opposition (Sanders)
- Numbers and range of opponents
- Substantive environmental concerns: Wikileaks
III. What is the role of foreign policy?
- On the environment: U.S. v. everyone else (Sanders)
- As a matter of international trade (Vaughn)
- As a matter of international security policy in Asia (Feldman)
IV. Summary and conclusions
- Major schisms remain in negotiating environmental chapter and other chapters: There is no imminent international deal (Sanders)
- Domestic politics could still be overcome (Vaughn)
- There is no domestic approval without a deal, and no deal without domestic approval (Feldman)
Who Should Attend:
- Government Representatives
- Trade Representatives
- International Finance Experts
- Intellectual Property Experts
- Exporters and Importers
- Pharmaceutical Officials
- Trade Lawyers
- Oil and Gas Experts
Stephen Vaughn works primarily on international trade litigation and policy matters, with a specific focus on injury issues in the context of antidumping and countervailing duty litigation. He has fourteen years of experience in complex trade litigation before the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, as well as dispute settlement panels under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization. Mr. Vaughn also is active in client representations regarding a number of trade policy matters, from enforcement of unfair trade laws to recent WTO negotiations.
Stephen Vaughn works primarily on international trade litigation and policy matters, with a specific focus on injury issues in the …
Elliot J. Feldman has been National Leader of BakerHostetler’s International Trade Practice for twelve years and is now Senior Partner in the Washington, D.C. office. He represents foreign governments, international organizations, corporations, trade associations, and individuals in international legal and trade disputes, and is recognized in Chambers and in Superlawyers as one of the world’s leading practitioners, valued especially for strategic and innovative solutions to unusually complicated legal problems. He is principal author of BakerHostetler’s Mergers & Acquisitions: A Practical Guide for Non-U.S. Buyers (Wolters Kluwer), published in English and Mandarin, and author or coauthor of seven other books. He graduated with honors from the University of Chicago (B.A.), M.I.T. (Ph.d.) and Harvard Law School. Former director of Harvard’s University Consortium for Research on North America, he contributes frequently now to the BakerHostetler blog on China-U.S. trade and trade policy (www.chinaustradelawblog.com).
Elliot J. Feldman has been National Leader of BakerHostetler’s International Trade Practice for twelve years and is now Senior Partner …
Mr. Sanders leads Baker & McKenzie’s U.S. environmental litigation practice and represents both domestic and non-U.S. corporations before federal, state and administrative courts in environmental, class action, mass tort and product liability litigation, government enforcement, permitting and criminal proceedings. Mr. Sanders advises multi-national and domestic corporations on environmental, health and safety statutory requirements and legal risks with respect to bringing products to market in the United States and around the world. He counsels companies with respect to compliance with CERCLA, RCRA, TSCA, OSHA and state environmental and product regulations and advises clients on environmental, health & safety and product regulatory risks in transactions.
Mr. Sanders leads Baker & McKenzie’s U.S. environmental litigation practice and represents both domestic and non-U.S. corporations before federal, state …
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