Chief negotiators from the dozen countries that comprise the U.S.-led Transpacific Partnership (TPP) will be meeting in Ottawa from July 3-12 to resume talks that aim to create one of the world’s largest free trade zones. To date, 19 formal rounds of TPP negotiations have taken place, plus several further meetings of chief negotiators and ministers.
Discussions at the upcoming session are expected to focus on outstanding topics such as intellectual property rights, market access, and the elimination of tariffs. The U.S. and Japan, the two largest economies involved in the TPP negotiations, remain significantly at odds over the phase-out of tariffs, particularly concerning “sensitive” areas such as agricultural commodities and the trade in automobiles.
Next month will also see negotiators meeting in Brussels, Belgium from July 14-18 for the sixth round of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
Negotiators will continue their discussions on issues such as trade in goods and services, regulatory harmonization issues, government procurement, environmental protection and labour rights, energy and raw materials, and opportunities for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Both sides have indicated they will spend one day meeting with representatives from industry, non-governmental organizations, consumer groups, trade unions, and other stakeholders to obtain their input and views, as well as provide them with an update on the negotiations.