On 4 February 2016, the largest trade agreement since the Uruguay Round launched the WTO in 1994 was signed by 12 nations, constituting 40 percent of global GDP and nearly one-third of world trade among 800 million people. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is, as President Obama has labeled it, a “twenty-first century trade deal.” By this he means that it reaches beyond traditional trade issues—tariffs, quotas, investment, services, and intellectual property. The TPP negotiation addresses issues fundamental to effective integra- tion of the global economy, such as how to handle state-owned enterprises and building regulatory coherence and administrative transparency. It reaches into issues supporting the growing global supply chains that characterize modern commerce, including harmonization of industrial standards, rules of origin, and efficient customs procedures. More importantly, if approved, the TPP would create a blueprint for rules that support even greater commercial integration across member economies and provide a roadmap for future trade deals.
Intellectual Property in the Trans-Pacific Partnership