Following intense lobbying from US farmers and the Republican Party, it was revealed on Friday that US President Donald Trump has ordered his senior economic and trade advisers to examine the possibility of the US re-entering the 11 nation Trans Pacific Partnership, dubbed by MB as “TPP 2.0”.
However, international trade expert, Jacobi Consulting managing director Stephen Jacobi, has argued that it would be “extremely difficult” for the US to re-enter the pact:
“The new agreement is quite a different agreement from the previous one in some key respects – particularly related to intellectual property,” says Jacobi.
This was a key area of concern for US lawmakers when trying to get the deal through Congress in 2016.
“The Obama administration couldn’t get TPP through Congress because the intellectual property provisions were not high enough – those provisions have now been watered down in the new agreement,” Jacobi says, adding that this would be a significant obstacle…
Another major issue is the CPTPP agreement still contains investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses – an area of the agreement Trump was particularly opposed to.
Jacobi says it would take a lot of work from the US perspective to join the deal, and is made even more difficult by the fact Congressional elections are later this year.
I agree. The big advantage of TPP 2.0 over the original is that it had watered down some of the more pernicious clauses around intellectual property and investor-state dispute settlement, which were included in the original text at the US’ behest.
Unless the other TPP nations agree to add back these clauses in exchange for the US’ participation, which seems unlikely (as well as undesirable), then the Trump Administration could face an uphill battle gaining Congressional support to re-enter the pact.