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Assessing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Volume 1: Market Access and Sectoral Issues

Kimberly Ann Elliott (PIIE), Caroline Freund (PIIE), Anna Gelpern (PIIE), Cullen S. Hendrix (PIIE), Gary Clyde Hufbauer (PIIE), Barbara Kotschwar (PIIE), Theodore H. Moran (PIIE), Tyler Moran (PIIE), Lindsay Oldenski (PIIE), Sarah Oliver (PIIE), Peter A. Petri (PIIE) and Michael G. Plummer (Johns Hopkins University and East-West Center)
PIIE Briefings 16-1


After five and a half years of negotiations, the Barack Obama administration concluded the most ambitious free trade deal of the postwar era on October 5, 2015. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a comprehensive accord that encompasses provisions on lowering barriers to trade and investment in goods and services and also covers critical new issues such as digital trade, state-owned enterprises, intellectual property rights, regulatory coherence, labor, and environment. Like all trade pacts, the TPP elicited praise and criticism from economic interests in the United States and the other 11 participating countries: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Together the 12 TPP members account for nearly 40 percent of global GDP. For the United States, the TPP countries account for 36 percent of US two-way trade in goods and services.

To clarify and analyze the complicated elements of the treaty, the Peterson Institute for International Economics has undertaken an ambitious assessment of its key issues and outcomes in this volume, the first of a series of publications planned by the Institute. The analysis in this volume demonstrates that the agreement will deliver large economic benefits to the United States and its trading partners. The Obama administration has touted these benefits as the economic pillar for US geopolitical strategy in Asia. The agreement would establish a free trade agreement (FTA) between the United States and several new partners, including Japan and Vietnam, while upgrading existing FTAs, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The negotiators have finished their work, and the members plan to sign the agreement on February 4, 2016, but much remains to be done before the TPP is ratified and implemented.

These papers are intended to provide a useful reader's guide to the TPP and contribute to a more educated public debate over its ratification by the United States and other member countries. The authors examine several major market access and sectoral issues in the TPP. They find that while the trade deal delivers significant benefits, it falls short in some areas of earlier ambitions for a sweeping liberalization of barriers on trade and investment.

Table of Contents

  1. The Economic Effects of the TPP: New Estimates
    Peter A. Petri and Michael G. Plummer
  2. Tariff Liberalization
    Caroline Freund, Tyler Moran, and Sarah Oliver
  3. Agriculture
    Cullen S. Hendrix and Barbara Kotschwar
  4. Auto Sector Liberalization
    Sarah Oliver
  5. Rules of Origin in Textiles and Apparel
    Kimberly Ann Elliott
  6. Government Procurement
    Tyler Moran
  7. Liberalization of Services Trade
    Gary Clyde Hufbauer
  8. Financial Services
    Anna Gelpern
  9. Provisions on Investment
    Theodore H. Moran and Lindsay Oldenski
  10. Investor-State Dispute Settlement
    Gary Clyde Hufbauer

Data Disclosure:

Data disclosure: The quantitative material from the TPP model developed by Peter Petri and Michael Plummer in chapter 1, including detailed results, data and methodologies for computing elements of the model, are available at The data underlying the analysis in chapters 2 [zip], 4 [zip], and 3, 5 to 10 [zip] are available for download.

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