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Trans-Pacific Partnership Background


Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement Background Information For Media

Introduction

Ministers from Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore announced the successful conclusion of negotiations of a Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (Trans-Pacific SEP) at the APEC Trade Ministers meeting in Jeju Korea, 3 June 2005.

The Ministers also announced the conclusion of parallel negotiations on a binding Environment Cooperation Agreement and binding Labour Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding.

A copy of the joint ministerial statement and an information bulletin describing the key outcomes for New Zealand is attached. These documents will also be available on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/foreign/tnd/ceps/cepindex.html.

The full text of the agreement, tariff reduction schedules, schedules of services commitments, side letters, labour MOU and environment agreement are expected to be available publicly on the Ministry website early next week.

The following material provides further background on the Agreement and the parallel Environment Agreement and Labour Memorandum of Understanding.

What is the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership?

The Trans-Pacific SEP is a four-way agreement liberalising trade between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. In parallel, the four countries have also negotiated a binding Environment Cooperation Agreement and binding Labour Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding.

Formally known as the Pacific Three Closer Economic Partnership (P3-CEP), negotiations were first launched by the Chile President and Prime Ministers of Singapore and New Zealand at the APEC Leaders Summit in 2002.

The shared vision was to create a trade agreement that could be used as a model and could act as a platform for expansion within the Asia/Pacific Region. Progress has already been made on the latter objective, as the Ministers from Chile, Singapore and New Zealand accepted Brunei as a founding member of the Agreement at the announcement of the conclusion of negotiations at the APEC Trade Ministers Meeting in Jeju 3 June 2005.


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