Twelve governments recently signed the much-anticipated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), sparking heated debate about its merits. As a primary motivation for this first “mega-regional” agreement, US President Barack Obama argues that the TPP is a way for the USA, and not China or someone else, to write the global trade rules of the future. This begs some important questions, namely which country or countries really did write most of the TPP and thus whose agenda for 21st century trade might it advance? To answer these questions, we compare the recently-released text of the TPP to the language in the 74 previous trade agreements that TPP members signed since 1995. Our text-as-data analyses reveal that the contents of the TPP are taken disproportionately from earlier US trade agreements. The ten preferential trade agreements (PTAs) that most closely match the TPP are all US PTAs. Moreover, the contents of controversial chapters, such as the one on investment, are drawn even more heavily from past US treaty language. Our study and findings apply power-based accounts of international institutions to a landmark new agreement, and portray a more active, template-based process of international diffusion.
Malcolm Turnbull says people won't be casting a national vote until the due time of 2019 – although Labor is working on contingency plans for this year in case he changes his mind or is foxing.
The new TPP means fewer barriers for Australian exports, but there a number of loose ends – not least if the United States decides to rejoin.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is back: experts respond
Deborah Gleeson, La Trobe University; Belinda Townsend, Australian National University; Kimberlee Weatherall, University of Sydney; Pat Ranald, University of Sydney, and Peter Robertson, University of Western Australia
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Time for costly medicine monopolies to go from TPP trade talks
Belinda Townsend, Australian National University; Deborah Gleeson, La Trobe University; Hazel Moir, Australian National University; Joel Lexchin, University of Sydney, and Ruth Lopert, George Washington University
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Copyright lasts the life of the author plus 70 years before it enters the public domain. But the author and their family are often not the beneficiary. Perhaps it's time for shrink that term.