Michael Froman, US Trade Representative, announced that the US, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations had signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, in Atlanta on Monday. The signing of the agreement is the culmination of more than five years of negotiations, and was delayed due to negotiations over drug patents. The deal “will support jobs, drive sustainable growth, foster inclusive development and promote innovation across the Asia-Pacific region,” according to Froman. TPP is set to create a new economic bloc with significantly reduced trade barriers between the 12 stakeholders. The other countries included in the deal are Australia Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Brunei Darussalam, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Following the completion of the TTP deal, Froman is expected to focus on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP); a proposed free-trade agreement between the European Union and the US. Froman proclaimed “we’re very much looking forward to making progress and ultimately completing” TTIP. The potential European deal has drawn sustained protests on both sides of the Atlantic with demonstrators worrying that the deal will erode labour rights.
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