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Montevideo, December 10th 2016 - 06:49 UTC

Obama and Piñera in the White House renew push for a trans-Pacific trade agreement

Wednesday, June 5th 2013 - 08:37 UTC
Full article 17 comments
Piñera 'playing' US president at Obama's desk in the Oval Office  Piñera 'playing' US president at Obama's desk in the Oval Office

US President Barack Obama and Chilean President Sebastian Piñera renewed their push for a trans-Pacific trade agreement at a meeting in the White House Oval Office on Tuesday that also touched on education and renewable energy.

Chile is “fully committed” to negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership and creating the world’s largest free-trade zone, Piñera said. Close economic ties with the U.S. benefit Chile. “We are very optimistic that the U.S. economy’s picking up,” he said, calling it good “for the whole world.”

“Chile has been on a remarkable growth trajectory,” Obama told reporters after the meeting, which included discussions of a visa-waiver program.

Obama praised the ‘extraordinarily strong’ bilateral relation with Chile and stated that the country has become “a leader in the continent and in the world” with a clear “commitment to democracy and human rights”.

Vice President Joe Biden also attended the private session, which took place as the U.S., Chile and nine other nations are negotiating the Pacific trade agreement. The governments in the talks invited Japan in April to join.

If Japan decides to participate, “that will have an impact on timing” for a deal, Piñera said today after a luncheon speech at the National Press Club in Washington. “It will take some more time, but I think it’s worthwhile” to include Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, he said.

The TPP nations aim to reach agreement by the end of the year, Piñera said. The parties are still trying to resolve differences on issues including intellectual property and labor and environmental standards, he said, without elaborating.

Chile has a free-trade agreement with the U.S. It’s also a member of a regional trading bloc, known as the Pacific Alliance, with Colombia, Mexico and Peru. The Trans-Pacific Partnership would create a trading region with about 26.4 trillion dollars in annual economic output with Japan’s inclusion.

The TPP group includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. China also may consider joining, according to its Ministry of Commerce. The U.S. is seeking broad participation from economies in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Obama is set to meet with Peru’s President Ollanta Humala on June 11.

The U.S. last year had a surplus of 9.4 billion dollars in trade in goods with Chile, a 36% increase from 2011, according to U.S. Commerce Department data.

Chile exported 9.4 billion in goods to the U.S. last year and since the free-trade agreement with the U.S. went into effect in 2004, trade increased 153% during the period.

Piñera previous to the US visited Canada, multilateral organizations in Washington and on Tuesday left for El Salvador and Panama the last leg of his trip.
 

Top Comments

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  • JoseAngeldeMonterrey

    The Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement is the most ambitious free trade agreement ever. While countries in America sign free-trade agreements to guarantee fair commercial practices and more mutual prosperity, desperately China tries to exert its influence through expenditures on superficially yet mediatically calculated investments in Latin American nations. They are trying to change their image as a predatory, parasite economy that is living off its trade partners by continually seeking huge trade imbalances in their favor.

    They are touring the region now, visiting Costa Rica, Mexico and other countries, because they see that now there are regional and world wide efforts to protect from unfair trade practices from China and other countries by signing free-trade agreements such as the Pacific Alliance and the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership. These free trade agreements are killing the very nature of China´s unfair trade practices, currency manipulation and cheating. Already Mexican products are displacing chinese goods in many markets, textiles from Central America are also competing ferociously to Chinese textile industries, the tide is changing. China´s a giant with clay feet and free, fair trade is poison for them.

    Jun 05th, 2013 - 09:50 am 0
  • Chicureo

    The key is free and FAIR trade. Nice post.

    Jun 05th, 2013 - 11:19 am 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    1&2:
    Agreed.

    Jun 05th, 2013 - 11:26 am 0
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