WASHINGTON — September 9, 2013 — This afternoon, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman reached
out to a broad cross-section of stakeholders to join him on a call to discuss the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) negotiations. As U.S. negotiators press forward to complete a high-standard trade
agreement that levels the playing field for U.S. workers and businesses in Asia-Pacific trade,
Ambassador Froman set the stage for a deeper level of engagement with these and other stakeholders
in the weeks and months ahead.
“We very much view stakeholder input, whether through our cleared advisers or other
stakeholders, as absolutely critical,” said Ambassador Froman. “We’re at a stage in TPP where we’re
going to have to make difficult decisions. I imagine that not everyone will be 100 percent pleased
with every decision, but we can guarantee that we will seek your input, we will consult with you.
We won’t make these decisions in isolation. And we will be proactive about getting your
participation in this process.”
More than 170 participants, including stakeholders from key sectors such as business, labor,
environment, public health, academia, advocacy groups, and some members of USTR’s Trade Advisory
Committee system participated in the call. Many asked and received information about the status of
U.S. proposals and prospects for advancing various issues in the talks — from agricultural market
access to intellectual property — in the near future.
Ambassador Froman said that TPP negotiators have been working “around the clock” to keep
moving forward toward an agreement. He noted that negotiations over number of sensitive issues will
likely take to the end of the talks; he also reviewed the facts on the new U.S. proposal on tobacco
in the TPP, which will for the first time in a trade agreement acknowledge the impact of tobacco on
public health and include measures to address the issue. Ambassador Froman said that October
meetings on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Bali, Indonesia would be
“an important milestone” in the process, offering a chance for Leaders of the TPP countries to come
together and offer guidance to trade ministers and negotiators on dealing with remaining issues
with the goal of finishing the negotiations this year.
USTR Froman underscored the President’s focus on making trade a driver of America’s economic
recovery and a pillar of our future economic stability. He called the President’s trade agenda bold
in scope, emphasis, and in ambition, with TPP as the cornerstone of the Obama Administration’s
economic policy in the Asia-Pacific region. He committed to keep Americans informed and involved in
the negotiating process as efforts continue this year.
Posted September 10, 2013