Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact passes first hurdle

Trans-Pacific Partnership: At a meeting in Atlanta yesterday, the US, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations signed a deal paving the way for what  is being described as  the largest regional trade accord in history. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will  create a Pacific economic bloc with reduced trade barriers to the flow of everything from beef and dairy products to textiles and data, and with new standards and rules for investment, the environment and labour. The signatories to the agreement are the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
The deal represents the economic backbone of the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia, which is designed to counter the rise of China in the Pacific and beyond. The agreement must still be ratified by lawmakers in the TPP nations before it can take effect and President Barack Obama is likely to face a fight to secure its  passage through the U.S. Congress. 

Source: FT