On 05 October 2015, in Atlanta (United States), trade ministers for 12 nations reached the final agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
TPP is considered the trade pact of the 21st century with unprecedented level of commitments to eliminate tarriff and non-tarriff barriers, high standards of intellectual property, labor, environment and sanitation and phytosanitation. TPP is expected to boost trade of goods and services across the Pacific Ocean, which is why the agreement is the mutual success of all member countries.
The final TPP agreement includes 30 chapters, with commitments to open more than 20 areas with wider and deeper commitment level than any FTAs that Viet Nam has signed. Besides commitments to liberalize trade of goods and services like other FTAs, TPP requires member countries to agree on new areas such as government procurement, labor, environment, copyright, state owned enterprises, small and medium enterprises, export financing, etc.
The commitments on financial services is the new contribution of the Agreement, which increases the trans-national investment while helping member countries to strengthen institution and lay out emergency crisis countermeasures.
TPP plays an important role to Viet Nam. The export-import value of Viet Nam to TPP members reached 89 billion US Dollar in 2014, in which export reached 57 billion US Dollar, accounting for nearly 40% of total export of Viet Nam. Viet Nam is having a 25 billion US Dollar trade surplus with TPP countries, mostly the United States. TPP is expected to bring chances for Viet Nam to increase export, investment and facilitate export in advantageous areas of Viet Nam such as textile, footwear, fishery, electrics and tropical agricultural products. The United States is currently imposing high tax rate with many textile and footwear products, thus Viet Nam’s textile and footwear industries expect more benefits from the commitment of the United States to eliminate 100% of import tarriff in TPP according to roadmap. TPP is also the chance for Viet Nam to take part in the regional and global supply chain.
The application of strict requirements of ROO in TPP is seen as a chance for Viet Nam to attract investment to develop source technology, deep processing industries, creating more added value in order to meet the standards to enjoy favorable treatment provided in commitments of member countries.
TPP, however, brings challenges along with benefits. The domestic industries face competition from same type of products with better quality and more competitive price from TPP member countries from chicken, pork, beef, corn, soy bean to automobile and machinery... Besides, TPP puts higher standards of information disclosure, formulation of legal framework, pushing member countries to improve domestic legislation in order to join the common playing field, creating transparent, attractive and favorable business environment.