04:13 GMT21 February 2020
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    Finalization of Trans-Pacific Partnership Expected in 2016

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    US Trade Representative Michael Froman said that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators will carry out legal review of the free trade agreement prior to releasing the document to public.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The finalization of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement will likely take place in 2016, after the US Congress reviews the deal, US Trade Representative Michael Froman told the press on Monday.

    "Given where we are in the calendar and the requirements of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), this is really a 2016 issue for Congress to consider, not a 2015 issue," Froman said of the timetable for implementing the trade deal.

    Also Froman stated that TPP negotiators will carry out legal review of the free trade agreement prior to releasing the document to public. 

    “To formalize the outcomes of the agreement, negotiators will continue technical work to prepare a complete text for public release, including the legal review, translation, and drafting and verification of the text,” Froman said.

    Earlier on Monday, twelve countries of the Pacific-Rim region reached an agreement on the wording and subject matter of the TPP deal designed to cover about 40 percent of the global economy.

    The free trade agreement eliminates about 18,000 taxes previously imposed by the Asia-Pacific nations on US goods, including machinery, automotive and agriculture products, according to the White House.

    The US government has previously been criticized for secrecy that surrounded TPP negotiations. Members of the US Congress argued there were many restrictions limiting access to the text of the deal.

    In May, the White House dismissed the claims of secrecy as “not true” and said the public would have 60 days to read the document online once the trade agreement is signed.

    “We look forward to engaging with stakeholders on the specific features of this agreement and undergoing the domestic processes to put the agreement in place,” Froman stated.

    The TPP deal is expected to be voted on in the US Congress early in 2016.

    Besides the United States and Canada, the deal includes Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea, Brunei, Chile, Singapore and Malaysia.


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