The negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) concluded in Oct. 2015 between its 12 Member Countries, which include the United States, Australia, Brunei Dar es Salaam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The overarching objective of the TPP is to reduce, or eliminate, tariff and nontariff barriers across virtually all goods and services traded within the member Countries with the goal being, in pertinent part, to
· Facilitate the development of production and supply chains
· Increase transparency across country specific trade laws
· Encourage the smooth process of customs and border procedures
· Open up domestic markets, and
· Raise living standards and Support job creation. It includes provisions specific to certain industries in order to promote a common regulatory Approach across the Tpp Region, which includes medical devices, information and communications technology products, and pharmaceuticals to name a few.
It's also being angled by the U.S. Trade Representatives Office to support American workers, businesses and values first, and has a special provision designated to wearing Apparel and textiles.
As stated on the USTR's website:
TPP’s Textiles and Apparel Chapter will create export opportunities for Made-in-America clothes, fabrics, and yarns and support jobs in the United States. This objective is advanced by a “yarn-forward” approach that requires use of yarns and fabrics from TPP countries in end products qualifying for preferential treatment under TPP — with some flexibility so that American businesses and workers whose products depend on inputs not available within the TPP region can still benefit. The yarn-forward approach also will help to develop a regionally-integrated supply chain that will promote long-term growth and investment in this sector in the United States. The Textiles and Apparel chapter also secures close customs cooperation among TPP Parties to facilitate effective enforcement of the rules; and ensures that U.S. companies have access to temporary relief if an import surge causes, or threatens to cause, serious damage to their business.
Only time will tell if TPP will really boost U.S. origin exports and with the drafting of laws getting underway, that day will be here sooner than later. Stay tuned.