Guam To Host Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations

admin's picture

Multi-lateral trade treaty talks to last 2 weeks

By Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, May 8, 2015) – Guam is scheduled to host a two-week meeting of chief negotiators for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is being described as one of the most ambitious trade initiatives being negotiated in the Asia-Pacific region, the State Department has confirmed.

Negotiations for the proposed trade treaty occurred on and off for the past several years, and recently received new energy with the April 28 meeting in the White House between President Barack Obama and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

"Negotiators are going to meet for two weeks in Guam to try to really take a big leap forward," said U.S. Undersecretary of State Catherine Novelli, in a press briefing in Washington, D.C., on April 30. She's undersecretary for economic growth, energy and the environment.

It's unclear where on Guam the TPP talks will take place.

Guam has been trying to develop the island as a magnet for international meetings, conferences and conventions.

The State Department did announce that the Guam talks among TPP negotiators are a prelude to a TPP ministerial meeting, which has been set for May 26 to 28 in the Philippines.

In the April 28 joint press conference with Abe, Obama said he discussed with the Japan prime minister how the United States and Japan, as the two largest economies in the TPP negotiations, "will now work together to lead our TPP partners to swift and successful conclusions of the broader negotiations."

"I know that the politics around trade can be hard in both our countries, but I know that Prime Minister Abe, like me, is deeply committed to getting this done, and I'm confident we will," President Obama said in the April 28 press conference.

"I often point out, for example, that there are many Japanese cars in America," Obama said. "I want to see more American cars in Japan, as well. TPP will help level the playing field. It will be good for the workers of both our countries."

Japan and the United States' cooperation on trade also parallels their recent agreement to expand defense cooperation from regional to global.

The U.S. and Japan are also working to implement an agreement to realign U.S. forces in Japan, including relocating some 5,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam and allowing Japan's self-defense forces to engage in additional training opportunities on Guam and in the Northern Marianas.

Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam, are involved in TPP talks, according to Canada's foreign ministry.

TPP countries represent a market of 792 million people and a combined economic size -- as measured in the gross domestic product -- of $28.1 trillion, or close to 40 percent of the world economy, the Canadian government has stated.

U.S. interest in negotiating an expanded TPP was spawned by concerns that the United States could be left out of an emerging, highly integrated and rapidly growing Asian economy, according to analysts quoted in a recent Congressional Research Service report titled "Pivot to the Pacific: The Obama Administration's Rebalancing Toward Asia."

"The importance of U.S. economic interests in the Asia-Pacific region has significant security and military implications," the report states.

Rate this article: 
Average: 2.6 (5 votes)

Add new comment