We Reach a Difficult Moment for Trans Pacific PP - Reforma

    View Authors 18 July 2012

    We Reach a Difficult Moment for Trans Pacific PP
    For the first time state owned companies will be negotiated.

    By Ulises Díaz

    Mexico City (July 18, 2012) - Mexico joined the Trans Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP, its acronym in English) negotiations at a moment where complicated issues are benign discussed. According to Frank Samolis, partner at the lobbying firm Patton Boggs, these are: intellectual property, State owned companies and competitiveness. 
    The political momentum in Mexico and the United States complicates the negotiation position and agenda of an agreement that aims to be completed as soon as possible. This was indicated by the expert, Samolis, who stands as a lobbyist between the private sector and lawmakers on international trade issues with the United States.

    “Mexico will be joining late; therefore, it has much to catch up with the issues being discussed. It arrives fresh from an electoral process and its position seems not clear, for the new President will take office until December. It is not known if Mexico will push its own agenda in the negotiations or will wait for the new administration to be in place,” said Samolis in interview with REFORMA.

    Last week in San Diego a new round of negotiations took place. Neither Mexico nor Canada (new members of the TPP) participated. It was expected that some less complicated issues, such as trade, where concluded. But so far, no conclusions have been reached.
    Before the end of this year, two more meetings will take place. One in Virginia during September and another in December at a location not know yet. It won’t be until this last meeting that Mexico will be able to participate as an active negotiator.

    “Mexico can still add to the negotiating texts for these are not concluded yet. There have been talks among some U.S. officials on whether there will be a joint stand of the North American countries. But this likely won’t happen. There could be issues where Mexico could take completely different positions, such as in energy,” stated Samolis.

    The TPP includes reduction in trade tariffs, services, competence and barriers. For the first time in a multilateral agreement, state owned companies’ matters will be discussed. It is expected that by the end of 2013 there will be a TPP running.

    “Only the negotiators have had access to the complete text. This complicate things for it could be that Congress at the process of ratification could delay or reject it,” he said.