Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement

Update on the third round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations - Malaysia joins

The third round of TPP negotiations was held in Brunei from 4-9 October 2010 with the participation of new member, Malaysia. TPP Parties reached consensus early in the week on Malaysia joining the negotiations, and Malaysia then participated in the Brunei negotiations for the remainder of the week. Malaysia is the first country to join the negotiations since the group launched negotiations in March 2010. TPP Parties (Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, Vietnam) remain committed to further expanding membership over time to countries across the Asia-Pacific that can meet the high-quality, ambitious objectives of the TPP.

Chief Negotiators were pleased with the progress made during the week of negotiations, which positioned TPP Parties well for the fourth round to be held in New Zealand in December 2010. 24 negotiating groups met over the course of the round to discuss issues such as industrial goods, agriculture, standards, services, investment, financial services, intellectual property, government procurement, competition, labour and environment.

Negotiating groups either had draft text on the table (e.g. the services and investment groups) or were working towards producing a draft text. Discussions on objectives and approaches for goods market access continued, with a view to achieving the shared goal of a high ambition agreement that promotes regional integration, including through regional rules of origin. TPP officials agreed a process to begin market access negotiations, including initial technical work to facilitate offers being made in early 2011.

TPP Parties also continued discussions on cross-cutting issues including:

Officials exchanged ideas in all of these areas and intend to undertake further work in coming weeks.

In addition, TPP officials organised technical assistance seminars alongside the negotiations on sanitary and phytosanitary standards and trade-related labour and environment issues, to build capacity on these issues.

We thank those of you who have participated to date in the Australian Government's public consultation process on the TPP. Australian TPP negotiators will be holding further public consultations in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra as follows:

We would welcome your participation in these consultations and would be particularly interested in views on interests and priorities as a result of Malaysia's participation. We continue to welcome written submissions at any time on issues relevant to the negotiations.

For more information, or to provide submissions on the TPP, please email us at tpp@dfat.gov.au