A Look at the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Posted by Ian McGinnis, Intern

The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a free trade agreement among the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. Generally speaking, the agreement lowers tariffs and reduces barriers to trade among all countries involved. The trade agreement is one of the largest ever, consisting of 40% of the global GDP and 25% of the world’s exports. Full text of the agreement can be found on the United States Trade Representative website.
As with any policy decisions, there will be negatives and positives. One positive of the TPP tariff reductions is the gains to be made in the agricultural sector. The export tariffs on certain goods such as fruit and soybeans are cut, giving an edge to companies that export these products. Also, machinery export tariffs are cut, which could provide that sector with a nice push. Big pharmaceuticals may not have as positive of an outlook on the TPP due to decreased intellectual property rights changes. Another way the TPP may affect the U.S. is with reduced tariffs, import competition will increase because of the decrease in price. This may have an adverse effect on the economy due to displacement of jobs. However, this will most likely be offset by job churn.

Many estimates show small gains to be made relative to currently projected growth in the U.S. This is due to the fact that 40% of American exports go to the six countries in the TPP that we already have trade agreements with, and only 6% of current exports go to the TPP countries that we do not have current agreements with. Much of the gains to be made in this deal are in countries which need greater market access such as Japan, Vietnam, and Malaysia.

This is just a brief snapshot of the agreement. There are many sources from which you can learn about it and how it will have an effect on your community; here are a few:






WSJ Opinion Article "Some U.S. Industries Seen as Winners in Pacific Trade Pact"


[Photo via Saigoneer]

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