The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), also known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, was a proposed trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States, signed on February 4, 2016. After new U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. signature from the TPP in January 2017, the agreement could not be properly ratified and did not enter into force. The other countries negotiated a new trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement, which contains most of the provisions of the TPP and came into force on December 30, 2018. Donald Trump criticized the TPP agreement as too long and complicated and said, “[i]t makes 5,600 pages, so complex that no one has read it.”  Senator Bernie Sanders accused the TPP of being much more than a free trade agreement.  The original TPP contained measures to reduce non-tariff and tariff barriers and to establish an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDR).   THE U.S. International Trade Commission, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the World Bank and the Office of the Chief Economist at Global Affairs Canada found that the final agreement would lead to positive economic outcomes for all signatories if ratified, while an analysis with an alternative methodology by two Tufts University economists found that the agreement would have a negative impact on signatories.
[Note 1] Many observers have argued that the trade agreement would have served a geopolitical purpose, namely to reduce the dependence of signatories on Chinese trade and to bring the signatories closer to the United States.     In a speech on the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump promised to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership if elected. He argued that the agreement would “undermine” the U.S. economy and its independence.   On November 21, 2016, in a video message, Trump outlined an economic strategy to “put America first” and said he would “negotiate fair bilateral trade agreements that will bring jobs and industry back to U.S. shores.” As part of the plan, Trump confirmed his intention to see the United States withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership for his first day in office.    McConnell argued that the TPP would not be taken into account at the lame meeting of the congress ducks before Trump`s inauguration.  According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the TPP imposes “binding and fully enforceable obligations” on signatories to “protect the freedom to form unions and bargain collectively” and to “protect child and forced labour from discrimination in the workplace.”  The obligations include “acceptable working conditions laws for minimum wage, hours of work and safety and health in the workplace.”  The USTR insists that countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam, if they do not impose provisions on forced labour, human trafficking and collective bargaining, will no longer enjoy the economic benefits of the TPP agreement.  Vietnam has formally expressed interest in participating in the TPP TPP negotiations at the APEC summit that concluded in Lima, Peru, in November 2008.