Center offers timely discussion of Trans-Pacific Partnership progress on Capitol Hill

Posted in Announcements News

On October 1, at the Rayburn House Office Building, the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy presented “Progress this Week on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?” continuing the Georgetown on the Hill series of panel discussions on international trade negotiations. Panelists discussed the prospects for the massive and complex Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement under ongoing negotiation, with negotiators meeting again this week in Atlanta. Its 30+ chapters set forth new terms for trade and business investment among the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations that together represent one-third of world trade. Key Takeaways from the CBPP Georgetown on the Hill panel discussion:

  • The TTP and the other mega-regional agreement (TTIP) are essentially de facto replacements for the WTO. The TPP is potentially the most important trade agreement the U.S. has tried to negotiate. Indeed, it may be too complex to achieve progress. There may be too many moving parts, each with its own constituency.
  • Even if the agreement is substantively sound, the public furor over some of its provisions could drown it.
  • If successful, the TPP could coalesce a group of countries that could power the Pacific Rim economy and lead to an even wider coalition – perhaps to a FTAP! Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific.
  • If TPP is not successful, the trade agenda is likely to fall to the bottom of the priority list for the next administration until at least 2020. U.S. leadership in the trade arena would be questioned (who would want to negotiate with us?) at least for that long and the world is likely to look quite different then.

Bradford Jensen (McCrane/Shaker Chair of International Business, McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University and Senior Policy Scholar, Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy) moderated the discussion among experts:

  • Gary C. Hufbauer, Reginald Jones Senior Fellow,Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Daniel J. Ikenson, Director, Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies, Cato Institute
  • Robert Vastine, Senior Industry and Innovation Fellow, Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy

Video recording is available here (new window). An event summary is available hereBloomberg BNA (new window), a subscription-only journal, also ran a story on the event: “Hill Consideration of TPP Remote in 2015.”