The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: NSW trade and a snapshot of the key issues

International trade Tariff Free trade Regulatory instruments Australia
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Brings together a number of the core issues related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, and includes NSW trade statistics with TPP member nations.


After 19 rounds of negotiations that began in Melbourne in 2010, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement – which includes 30 chapters of provisions – was concluded in Atlanta on 5 October 2015. Echoing the views of Federal Trade Minister Andrew Robb, NSW Minister for Trade, Stuart Ayres described the deal “as a landmark opportunity to create new jobs and increase the standard of living for the people of NSW.”

The agreement, once ratified, will create a free trade zone among 12 nations, including Australia, the US, Japan and New Zealand. Together, the TPP nations account for 37.5% of global GDP and 24% of the world’s trade in services.

There are a number of perceived and reported benefits from the proposed TPP Agreement – particularly from improved market access through reductions in tariff-rates on merchandise goods. One study reported that the TPP will increase Australian economic growth by 0.5 per cent by 2025 (that's equivalent to about $8 billion).

A number of concerns have also been raised – including recently by Legislative Council member Peter Primrose – around the possibility of new regulatory standards through Investor State Dispute Settlement Clauses, as well as intellectual property rights and pharmaceuticals provisions in the TPP.

While the agreement has been reached in principle, the specific details are not yet publicly available. This e-brief brings together a number of the core issues related to the TPP – the purpose of which is to provide general context ahead of the impending official release of the document. As a prelude to that discussion, NSW trade statistics with TPP member nations are set out, providing an insight into potential trade benefits from tariff reductions from the Agreement.

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