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Business Leaders Call for Redoubling of Efforts on TPP

Media release
21 May 2013

Business Leaders Across Asia Pacific Call for Redoubling of Efforts to Conclude Comprehensive TPP Accord by Year’s End

Business leaders across the Asia Pacific who are supporting the 17th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations currently underway in Lima urged negotiators to tackle and resolve now, rather than later, the sensitive issues in the TPP talks in order to enable a comprehensive agreement to be reached by year’s end, as called for by the political leaders of the 11 TPP negotiating countries. 

“The growth of our countries’ economies and the growth and support of jobs across the region – which a successful TPP will help foster – are top priorities of our business groups.  The sooner an ambitious TPP can be agreed upon and implemented, the earlier those benefits can be realized,” said Mr. Carlos Chiappori, President of the Foreign Trade Society of Peru.  “We urge the negotiators to maintain momentum in the talks as they – and soon their Japanese counterparts -- address the hard issues that remain.”

The business leaders calling for a redoubling of efforts to conclude a comprehensive, high-standard TPP accord in 2013 include the American Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance, National Confederation of the Private Business Associations of Peru (CONFIEP), the Foreign Trade Society of Peru (COMEXPERU), Emergency Committee for American Trade, the US National Center for APEC, the NZ International Business Forum, the Singapore Business Federation, Chilean Federation of Industry (SOFOFA) and the Asia Pacific Chamber of Commerce. These national business groups, representing thousands of companies and producers with millions of employees in their respective APEC economies, are united in support of the expeditious and successful conclusion of the negotiations.

“A successful TPP will improve the competitiveness of our economies by, among other things, phasing out and eliminating tariffs and addressing chokepoints in our production and supply chains that unnecessarily raise the costs of products and services.  “These would be no small achievements and would increase the contributions that enterprises across the region can make to regional prosperity,” said Calman Cohen, President of the Emergency Committee for American Trade. 

"Asia Pacific businessmen bet on open markets as the best way to boost trade, investment and development of our countries. Faced with this challenge, the private company reaffirms its commitment to generate wealth, employment and sustainable development as an effective tool in the fight against poverty. Therefore, the importance of completing the negotiations within the framework of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, “said Alfonso Garcia Miro, President of CONFIEP.

“With the 11 TPP negotiating partners now supporting the entry of Japan into the TPP talks, the share of the Asia-Pacific economy covered by the accord will soon significantly increase,   providing a foundation for the long-sought Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific,” said Kathleen Sullivan, Executive Director of the Canadian Agri-food Trade Alliance.   “Such an outcome will require Japan and the current TPP negotiating countries to agree on an outcome that is comprehensive – that excludes no sector, sub-sector or product – and high-standard – that builds on the highest standards achieved to date in trade agreements already agreed and implemented.”

Our organizations stress, as we have in the past, that a TPP to be successful needs to be:

•           Comprehensive – with no product exclusions and with commercially meaningful and flexible rules of origin.

•           High-quality – with strong standards across all main areas, from transparency, investment and government procurement to intellectual property, e-commerce and sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

•           Ambitious – with the elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers on trade in goods and services and investment no later than 2020, the deadline set for free and open trade and investment in the Bogor goals.

•           Innovative – with concrete new commitments on emerging and behind-the-border issues, including eliminating chokepoints in the operation of regional supply and value chains, fostering small and medium-sized business participation in expanding trade, facilitating regulatory coherence, and promoting and protecting innovation.

•           Enforceable – with clear commitments, and strong and transparent state-to-state and investor-to-state dispute settlement mechanisms.

•           A living agreement – open to accession by other Asia-Pacific economies, provided these economies share TPP's ambitious vision and can demonstrate their ability to accede to an agreement with the characteristics described above.

Business representatives from TPP member economies joined government negotiators and other representatives of civil society at a TPP Stakeholder Event in Lima on May 19th and the TPP Business Forum on May 20th.


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