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Expanding the P-4 Trade Agreement into a Broader Trans-Pacific Partnership: Implications, Risks and Opportunities

4 Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy 401 (2009)

Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 12/2017

23 Pages Posted: 3 Oct 2014 Last revised: 1 Mar 2017

Meredith Kolsky Lewis

University at Buffalo Law School; Victoria University of Wellington Law School

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

In 2005, New Zealand, Singapore, Chile and Brunei entered into a path-breaking free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement which is also known as the P-4 Agreement. The agreement contains an open accession provision which explicitly contemplates the expansion of the agreement to include other countries willing to commit to its terms. The expansion of the agreement has important implications for the world trading system. Its broad coverage and open accession provision may suggest that the agreement has the potential to serve as a stepping stone in the path towards further multilateral trade liberalization in the WTO context. On the other hand, expanding the agreement could result in an agreement so powerful that its members no longer consider devoting energies to liberalizing in the WTO context to be of great importance. The article explores some of the unique aspects of the TPP as well as the potential implications of expanding the agreement, both for the East Asian region and for the broader multilateral trading system.

Keywords: P-4 Agreement, Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership, FTA, Free Trade Agreements, open accession provision, trade liberalization

JEL Classification: F02, F10

Suggested Citation

Lewis, Meredith Kolsky, Expanding the P-4 Trade Agreement into a Broader Trans-Pacific Partnership: Implications, Risks and Opportunities (2009). 4 Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy 401 (2009); Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper No. 12/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2504124

Meredith Lewis (Contact Author)

University at Buffalo Law School ( email )

School of Law
719 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States

Victoria University of Wellington Law School ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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