Negotiators hope to wrap up Trans-Pacific Partnership talk this month

An article in Los Angeles Times (August 6, 2015) titled “Negotiators hope to wrap up Trans-Pacific Partnership talk this month” (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tpp-talks-20150806-story.html) describes the complexity behind the current discussions that took place among involved countries regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)- a trade agreement that would cover 40% of the global economy. The topics included in this agreement represent highly sensitive content especially considering the upcoming presidential election year in the United States. Considering China’s rising power, Obama’s strategy is to focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Some of the discussions related to the patent length of “biologics” or drugs put pressure on the U.S, considering that the TPP countries provide 5 or less years to protect patents while the U.S has 12 years of protection. In summary, the topics discussed in the TPP agreement affect rules of labor, e-commerce and state-owned enterprise which impact politics and require a legislation process that in the U.S could take several months, potentially extending the discussions until 2016. How will this agreement affect the U.S economic and political condition? Will the TPP agreement represent a determinant topic in the 2016 U.S presidential elections? Will more countries beyond the current 12 members join the TPP agreement in the future?

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