TPP members ensure no unnecessary barriers to trade

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — The 12 members of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have ensured that technical regulations and standards will not create unnecessary barriers to trade.

According to the final text of the TPPA released today, the parties, under the technical barriers and trade chapter, have agreed to rules that will make it easier for companies to access TPP markets. 

"Under the TPP, parties are required to allow the public to comment on proposed technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures to inform their regulatory processes.

The TPP also includes regulation of specific sectors to promote common regulatory approaches across the TPP region, including, among others, cosmetics, medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

Meanwhile, the Trade Remedies chapter said transparency and due process in trade remedy proceedings would be promoted but it will not affect members’ rights and obligations under the World Trade Organisation.

A member would be allowed to apply a transitional safeguard measure during a certain period of time if import increases as a result of tariff cuts implemented under the TPP, causing serious injury to a domestic industry. 

"These measures may be maintained for up to two years, with a one-year extension, but must be progressively liberalised if they last longer than a year. 

"The chapter also sets out rules requiring that a TPP party applying a transitional safeguard measure provide mutually-agreed compensation. 

"The parties may not impose a transitional safeguard measure on any product imported under a TPP tariff rate quota, and may exclude TPP products from a WTO safeguard measure if such imports are not a cause or threat of serious injury," it added.

The TPP is a high standard, comprehensive regional Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will boost trade and investment flows between the countries concerned as well as integrate the region into a single manufacturing base market.

After five and a half years of negotiations, Malaysia and 11 other countries namely, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the United States and Vietnam, successfully concluded negotiations for the TPP on Oct 5 in Atlanta, United States.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, in a statement today, said that the TPPA text would be debated in Parliament early next year.  — Bernama

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