MANILA – Chile announced on Thursday that it is pleased to be one of the 12 countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TTP, which involves 40 percent of the total global economy.
Therefore, the government of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet took advantage of the 23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit in Manila to respond to criticism generated by some sectors over this agreement in the Latin American country.
Leaders of the 12 countries participating in the TPP concluded their partnership negotiations in October, and decided on Thursday to finalize and sign the trade agreement on Feb. 4, 2016 in New Zealand.
Additionally, the agreement will then have a period of two years to be ratified by the parliaments of the respective countries.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Heraldo Muñoz, this trade agreement represents a great advantage as a window to the future and will act as “the new standard in international trade, services and investment.”
“A country like Chile, whose prosperity depends on the openness to international trade, cannot be excluded from an agreement of this nature, which will be the vanguard of the future,” Muñoz added.
Early in October when the news were announced in Chile in the midst of an atmosphere of revulsion, the government hastened to clarify that negotiations were successfully finalized, after obtaining a five-year moratorium to protect the production of local pharmaceuticals.
But besides the impact on the so-called “biologics” in Chile, TPP raised questions in fields related to intellectual property, environmental regulations, regulatory standards and foreign investment.
Muñoz assured that the agreement will allow Chilean companies to introduce its products in new markets, and to amend any of the previous 22 free trade agreements that Chile had with 60 countries.
The foreign minister appeared blunt when he confirmed that the needs of vulnerable sectors have been covered, explaining that the government was very clear regarding the necessity of protecting consumers in his country.
“TPP negotiations lasted two years more than expected, because Chile defended its biopharmaceutical sector,” Muñoz added.
The 12 TTP signatory countries hailed more than five years of negotiations in their final text, which dismantles almost 18,000 tariffs.