In early 2008, a small group of countries began negotiations to create what will be called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Over the last six years, that effort has snowballed to include a total of 12 countries – the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Vietnam, Peru, Chile, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore – which collectively account for 40 percent of world trade. And while some critical differences between the parties remain unresolved, those differences are being narrowed, and it now appears that a final agreement could be reached early in 2014.
To date, most press accounts discussing the TPP have focused on its political dimensions, and in particular, on China's evolving view of the agreement – from hostility to guarded interest. But what is the TPP exactly – what does it cover, how does it work, and how will it affect businesses operating in China? And how will the TPP relate to China's other free trade agreements, such as the one currently being negotiated with Japan and Korea? Eric Emerson, a Beijing-based partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, will provide some insights on how these agreements could affect companies operating in the region.
* CLE Credit is made available courtesy of Bingham McCutchen LLP, an accredited provider of both California and New York continuing legal education. This activity has been approved for 1.5 general credits in CA and in NY for 1.5 credit hours in Areas of Professional Practice. The content is appropriate for attorneys of all experience levels.