The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, sets up a free-trade zone for forty percent of the world's economy, and is considered the most ambitious trade pact in a generation. Bobbi Rebell reports.
After five years of secret negotiations, the United States and eleven other Pacific Rim countries have reached what is being called a landmark trade deal. The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, will cut trade barriers and set common standards, hitting a wide range of industries. It'll affect everything from the price of cheese to the cost of cancer treatments. Edward Alden is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. SOUNDBITE: EDWARD ALDEN, SENIOR FELLOW, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Some of the winners, clearly, are high technology industries, you look at semiconductors, computers, there are really some breakthrough provisions having to do with free flow of data and preventing countries from requiring local storage of data which is a big issue for the Googles of the world." He says China could be a big loser because it's not part of the TPP deal. Alden adds that the deal will have a big impact on pharmaceutical industries, setting, for example, at least a five-year minimum for exclusive rights on biologics. That is shorter than the U.S. law. That issue was a sticking point in the talks. Negotiators also struck an agreement on another controversial issue: rules governing auto trade. Negotiators reaching a compromise that less than half, about 45 percent of the vehicle had to be made in the TPP region to qualify for duty-free status. But it is not a done deal just yet. The TPP still has to be ratified by Congress and lawmakers from other countries.