TPP, TTIP, TISA, and ITA-2: What do these trade acronyms mean and why are they important for SME exporters?
The TPP, TTIP, TISA and ITA-2 refer to current trade negotiations being carried out by the United States with certain regional partners or within multilateral frameworks to boost US cooperation and exports with trade partners worldwide. SME exporters should understand which countries are involved, what is being covered, and how they may benefit from these future agreements.
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) with Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Now in its 17th round of negotiations with critical trade partners on both sides of the Pacific, the TPP is expected to provide significant benefits to the US economy in terms of providing new export opportunities and supporting American jobs. USTR reports that US SMEs alone exported over $240 billion to the Asia Pacific region in 2011. The TPP seeks to create more opportunities for US SMEs and micro-multinationals to help solidify opportunities with Asia Pacific markets. Ideally, TPP members will create portals and additional resources to educate SMEs and encourage they take advantage of this important regional FTA.
The addition of Japan, Canada and Mexico as new negotiating members may mean longer negotiations but does advance the goal that the TPP will eventually include all members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
To learn more about the potential impact and status of TPP negotiations, visit USTR’s website.
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a.k.a. the US-EU FTA. In addition to the potential presented in the Asia-Pacific, the United States recognizes the need to enhance economic ties with its largest export market, Europe. FTA negotiations are expected to begin at the end of June, early July. By seeking to increase regulatory convergence and reduce non-tariff barriers to trade, the expectation is that the TTIP will ultimately make it easier for US SMEs to comply with EU regulations and sell their products with limited barriers in the European market.
To learn more about the TTIP, visit USTR’s website and factsheets on the negotiations.
Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). Earlier this year, former US Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, announced the Obama Administration’s intentions to enter into negotiations addressing barriers to trade in services. Trade in services account for a significant portion of US GDP. The TISA negotiations currently include 22 WTO members including the major players in trade in services. There are some notable countries not currently participating including Brazil, Russia, India and China. Despite their absence, it is recognized that a successful conclusion to the TISA could pave the way for opportunities to tackle barriers to trade in services globally in the future.
To learn more about the TISA and services sector in the United States, check out USTR’s website on services and investment.
Information Technology Agreement (ITA-2). SMEs that export information technology products should follow the ITA-2 negotiations. Informal talks began a year ago between member countries considering expansion of product coverage and inclusion of new participants. Russia has recently joined the ITA when it acceded to the WTO in 2012. Mexico and Brazil have been strongly encouraged to join, and Mexico appears interested. Negotiations have been formally launched among members, and countries have begun sharing their priority lists for consideration.
In March of this year, the USITC released a study concluding that “extending duty-free treatment to additional information and communications technology products and innovations is likely to benefit US exporters”.
To learn more about the ITA and ITA-2, check out the WTO’s website.
If you have questions on any of these trade agreement negotiations or how you can provide input, please contact TradeMoves LLC.
Shawn Marie Jarosz SJarosz@TradeMoves.net 202.415.4016
Tyson Smith TradeMoves@TradeMoves.net
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