Trade – Member Countries Sign TPP Agreement; Start Clock for Possible Congressional Consideration

On February 3, the U.S. and the 11 other parties signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement at a ceremony in Auckland, New Zealand. According to the requirements under Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), the signing sets deadlines for when the Administration has to articulate how it intends to implement the agreement and for when the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) needs to complete work on a report assessing the likely economic impact of the agreement. Once these deadlines are met, the Administration can send the agreement to Congress for consideration. Per the terms of the TPP agreement itself, the signing also opens up a two-year window regarding implementation. During that two-year period, the agreement can only enter into force if all 12 countries are ready for the agreement to commence. After that two-year period, the agreement can start once the United States, Japan, and four other countries are ready for the agreement to begin. Once implemented, the FASA/Gemini-supported agreement will allow U.S. imports of fashion accessories from Vietnam and the 10 other TPP-member countries to enter duty-free access under flexible rules of origin.