International Trade

How Secret TTIP Deal Will Help Corporates Resist Paris ‘Green’ Pledges

Transnational corporations are secretly and undemocratically, formulating the rules of the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). The world’s largest ever, free trade deal will be the most powerful tool in corporate resistance to the COP21 agreement.

There was great optimism following the pledges made by nearly 200 nations at the COP21 conference on in Paris in December. In setting a goal of net zero emissions by the middle of the century, the Paris agreement went much further than the 1997 Kyoto protocol, which spectacularly failed.

Anguish, Opportunity and Trade Agreements

At the last Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November 2015, the United States and China advanced their own set of interests with respect to trade agreements in the Asia-Pacific region. While the United States celebrated the conclusion of its Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal in early October 2015, China stressed the potential of a Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

Why are Mexico and Japan's Economic Zones Special?

On 29 September, President Enrique Peña Nieto formally launched an initiative he had first announced in November 2014 to create, for the first time in Mexico, three special economic zones (SEZs) in the country’s poorest states. The next day, Peña Nieto submitted to Congress the draft of the law that will set the rules and conditions for the creation and operation of these zones.

South Africa's Game of Chicken with the U.S., Sort Of

Relations between the US and South Africa have hit another low in a series of trade disputes that go as far back as 2003. While strengthening its relations with other countries, the US has threatened to suspend South Africa from its preferential trade programme for Africa due to its failure to comply with the latest terms of the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA).

Is the U.S. Complicating TPP Ratification?

Alongside this week’s APEC leaders’ summit in Manila, US President Obama met counterparts and trade ministers from 11 other Asia-Pacific states that agreed in October to the expanded Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

These states, covering around 40% of world GDP, cannot sign the free trade deal before February 3, when the US Congress finishes its 90-day review. However, Obama and others in Manila reiterated the importance of the TPP for regional and global economic integration.

Down on the Japanese Farm with the TPP

The issue of liberalising Japan’s agricultural market presented a major, if not the major hurdle to the Abe administration’s agreement with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal struck in Atlanta on 5 October 2015. Japan has agreed to abolish tariffs on 81 percent of 2328 agricultural, forestry and fisheries imports — more than on any other free trade agreement concluded by Japan so far but lower than any other participating country.

Taking a Country to Court

The ink is dry and the full text of the major trade deal between the US and 11 Pacific Rim countries, the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP, is available to the public. And it contains plenty of lessons that can be applied to the ongoing negotiations between the US and European Union over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, geared toward removing trade barriers between the two.

Should Trade Agreements Address Climate Change?

This month’s long-awaited release of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) text was the result of years of negotiations on trade ties between nations around the Pacific Rim.

Some six weeks earlier, another set of deliberations came to an end as the United Nations unveiled its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality by addressing critical issues such as food security, health care, access to education, clean and affordable water, clean energy, and climate action.

Still a Long Way to Go for the TPP

After more than five years of missed deadlines, trade ministers from the 12 participating Asia-Pacific countries that met in Atlanta finally concluded the negotiations surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on 5 October 2015. So is the TPP settled? The short answer to the question is not yet. The public fanfare accompanying the announcement led many to believe the agreement would soon come into force. Yet there is still much more work to do before this happens.