Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) among twelve negotiating countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam – were concluded in Atlanta, USA on 5 October 2015.
The text, released on 5 November 2015, had 30 chapters and many annexes, with parties also adopting bilateral side-letters. The TPPA was signed on 4 February 2016 in New Zealand, which is the formal depositary.
Each party to the negotiations was required to complete its own constitutional processes and requirements before it could take steps to adopt the agreement. The TPPA would come into force within two years if all original signatories notified that they have completed their domestic processes, or after 2 years and 3 months if at least six of them, including the US and Japan and several other large countries, did so.
In January 2017 US President Donald Trump withdraw the participation of his country in the agreement. Discussions continue among the remaining eleven countries about what, if anything, they should do in the absence of the US. Nevertheless, the legal issues arising from the text remain relevant to assessments of the TPPA and future agreements.
This research paper is part of a series of expert peer-reviewed analyses of different aspects of the text.