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  • Cited by 4
  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: November 2012

1 - What is “high-quality, twenty-first century” anyway?



This book is about one of the most significant regional integration initiatives in recent times. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) has the potential to become a new model for preferential trade agreements (PTAs). There are two main reasons for this. First, it is an open-ended agreement that clearly contemplates an expanded membership over time. Second, the TPP aspires to set high standards, both in terms of the degree of market openness to be achieved, and the quality and scope of the rules governing trade, investment and regulatory arrangements among its members.

This volume does four things. First, it traces the origins and motivations of the TPP initiative in order to provide the context for assessing the prospective Agreement. Second, it analyses critically the claims of the architects of the Agreement that it will be of “twenty-first century quality” as opposed to the lesser ambition of “twentieth century” PTAs. Third, it analyses options and likely outcomes in specific areas. Fourth, it projects the TPP into the future and considers its place relative to other trade regimes, including beyond the Asia-Pacific, to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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