Published January 23rd, 2010
PENANG – A speech by United States President Barack Obama in Tokyo has elevated the status and prospect of the little-known Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement, known by many observers as the P4, to the center stage of regional economic cooperation. Obama said during his December speech that the US was “engaging with the Trans-Pacific partnership countries with the goal of shaping a regional agreement”.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) would have it called, is a free-trade agreement (FTA) between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore that was concluded in 2005 and which came into force in May 2006. Together with Australia, Peru and Vietnam, the US aims to expand the TPP from four to eight members (P8).