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The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP as it is more commonly known, is the newest legal trade agreement proposed between America and 11 other countries. The legal agreements within the TPP should grow American-made products, increase the middle class and support local jobs through its unlimited trade with Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, Chile, Brunei, Singapore and New Zealand.
There has been much debate from both Republicans and Democrats as to how the benefits of the agreement will translate to the American economy, which will be discussed in further detail in next week’s ASTA-USA Legal blog. You can read the U.S. government’s official stance and the full document here.
President Obama’s goal for the TPP is that it will strengthen the diplomatic, security and economic balance in the Asia-Pacific region. These official government fact sheets state that it will level the playing field and open new opportunities for American workers and businesses. It will also encourage innovation, raise the bar on environmental and labor practices and foster healthy competition and transparency.
Additionally, the TPP will not only deal with the trade of physical goods and services, but it aims to protect intellectual property as well. Predicted outcomes of intellectual property protection include increased creativity, economic growth, job support and encouraged transparency, originality and technologically-driven economies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Protecting intellectual property sounds good in theory, but introduces the question of how a country would enforce those guidelines. The fact sheet lists the following projected standards that each of the 12 countries would have to follow and enforce:
- Robust patent standards drawn from the World Trade Organization Agreement
- Strong copyright protections
- Preventing Internet copyright infringement by creating copyright safe harbors for Internet Service Providers
- Developing life-saving medicines
- Establishing criminal procedures for trade secret and cyber theft
- Enforcing IP rights
- Smoothing the trademark and patent process for new products in new markets
- Monitoring inappropriate overprotection that would undermine U.S. tariff benefits
The TPP also focuses heavily on protecting workers’ rights in each of the 12 participating countries. Especially stringent requirements focus on Vietnam and go so far as to withhold or suspend tariff reductions if the country does not meet specific trade requirements within 5 years. Under this new agreement, workers from all participating countries can expect a wide range of protections and privileges that include:
- Freedom to form unions and bargain collectively
- Eliminating child and forced labor
- Protection from employment discrimination
- Establishing laws about acceptable work conditions, minimum wage, hours and safety
- Protected labor in export processing areas
- Combatting the trade of goods made by forced labor
The TPP seeks to improve upon the current NAFTA legal agreement by eliminating over 18,000 tax barriers currently at play within international trade. This means that American-made products will have unparalleled access to some of the fastest-growing markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Unlike past trade agreements, the TPP will incorporate entrepreneurs, farmers and small businesses. State-owned enterprises will also have to meet certain criteria in order to ensure fair competition.
- Commercial purchases and sales must be made with commercial considerations
- These enterprises will receive non-commercial assistance
- Impartial regulation
- Transparent publication of national State-owned enterprises, government ownership, control and non-commercial assistance
This new deal will also provide the most comprehensive and strict environmental protection agreements that international trade has witnessed to date. These standards hope to address critical issues and prevent and restore environmental damage that has already been done. TPP environmental rules and regulations include:
- Not weakening environmental laws in order to attract trade and investment
- Protecting and conserving iconic and endangered species
- Enforcing conservation laws and combatting illegal trafficking through national and regional actions
- Prohibiting harmful fisheries subsidies
- Protecting natural habitats and ecosystems
- Protecting at risk species and marine environments from ship pollution
- Ozone layer protection through production and consumption control
- Supporting clean, energy-efficient innovations
As stated on the government’s website, the TPP will strengthen our relationships and establish the U.S. as a leader in the Pacific. It will seek to improve human working conditions, protect the environment, encourage fair competition and promote digital trade. TPP negotiators predict that it will support American job growth by leading to more exports and higher-paying jobs within the States. Other predicted benefits include ensuring food safety and promoting transparency in negotiations.
Interested in learning how your state could be benefit from the new TPP deal? Visit this official website for an interactive map that demonstrates trade statistics, export percentages and job benefits specific to each state.
Reliable legal translation will obviously be vital to this deal, not only in creating the legal agreement, but in all subsequent actions afterward. Regardless of Congress’s acceptance or dismissal of the TPP agreement, ASTA-USA Legal will provide 100% accurate translation services for your company’s confidential legal documents. Our professional human translators are fluent, native speakers of more than 70 languages. They are certified to translate your legal documents and have over 10 years of professional translation service experience. ASTA-USA Legal’s career translators are able to understand and translate language-specific nuances and colloquialisms that are typically deemed “untranslatable,” giving you a perfect match to your original document without losing the meaning behind the text.
Other legal translation companies outsource your confidential documents through a bidding system. Through this process, companies may end up with a cheaper translation, but one that is typically flawed and unreliable. Technology-dependent legal translations are often incorrect and lose the meaning and intent of the original document. Our professional translators ensure your newly translated document is flawless and delivered on time and on budget.
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