On Monday, Trade Ministers of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam announced that they have successfully concluded negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
- Eliminating tariffs, which can price out of foreign markets many of the goods and agricultural products made by U.S. small businesses.
- Making it cheaper, easier, and faster for businesses to get their products to market by creating efficient and transparent customs procedures that help move goods quickly through borders.
- Promoting digital trade and e-commerce by prohibiting tariffs on digital products (such as software, music, video, e-books) and helping keep the Internet free by protecting against requirements that force businesses to locate infrastructure in the markets in which they seek to operate, requirements that can be especially costly for small businesses with fewer resources.
- Strengthening protections of intellectual property rights.
- Helping small businesses to integrate into global supply chains, as many small businesses don’t export directly, but sell their goods to other domestic companies that do.
- Requiring TPP countries to create public websites targeted at small and medium-sized businesses that provide easily-accessible information on the agreement and how to take advantage of it.
- Establishing a Small Business Committee that meets regularly to review how small businesses are taking advantage of TPP and discusses recommendations for making the agreement work better for small businesses.
This is a long-term win for U.S. small businesses. I'm especially thrilled that customs procedures will be streamlined - an antiquated fill-forms-out-in-triplicate style system that makes exporting painful for small e-commerce businesses. Hopefully TPP will also help bring prosperity to our trading partners since economic security brings the freedom and ability to contribute to the common good.