The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) trade agreement will come into force at the end of the year.  The agreement between 11 nations along the Pacific Rim - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam- represents 13.5% of the world’s GDP.  One of the largest trade agreements in world, the provisions not only cover trade in goods and services, but also includes requirements in areas such as labor, the environment and government procurement.

This agreement has been a decade in the making, and has been high-profile in U.S. trade policy and news.  Previously called TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the U.S. was the 12th nation involved in negotiations to develop this trade region.  The TPP was originally touted as a way to increase U.S. clout in Asia and put in check China’s global economic and military expansion.  U.S. involvement with these negotiations began in 2008 under President Bush and an agreement was reached after 19 official rounds of negotiations in October 2015 under President Obama.  The agreement was not ratified by the U.S. Congress in 2016.  In January 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. In May 2017, all remaining original TPP signatories agreed to continue negotiations without the U.S. and ultimately came to agreement in January 2018.  The newly named CPTPP incorporates most of the original trade language, but does suspend 22 provisions of the TPP.  Under the agreement, after ratification by at least 50% of the signatories, the agreement enters into effect 60 days later.  With Australia being the sixth country to ratify the agreement on October 31, 2018, the CPTPP agreement will come into force on December 30, 2018.