Panama Expresses increased interest in TPP Talks

newTPP map cropped

-Alex Dmuchovsky

In the past year or two, international trade talks have been heating up concerning a new global trade agreement; one that involves a multitude of countries in several hemispheres. The “Trans-Pacific Partnership,” (or TPP), is a proposal for restructuring the current free-trade agreements in order to address emerging international trade issues of the 21st century. The talks are being spearheaded by the United States, and have already confirmed 7 other countries. Due to the secretive nature of the negotiations, very little is known about the current state of affairs, however there are several story-lines detailing a number of unconfirmed countries that have expressed interest in joining the trade discussions. Talks have been stalling along the way, and discomfort at the pace and transparency of the proceedings has raised concern among international leaders.

According to Panamanian news sources, the country’s Foreign Minister, Fernando Núñez Fábrega, has expressed a great deal of interest in joining the TPP, citing Panama as a “natural interconnecting hub for the continent” due to its regional prominence in marine, land, and air connectivity.

The new era of trade has brought about several concerns regarding regulation, as several secretive and possibly illegal recent global trade events are a cause of concern for the future. Additionally, this globalization effort has been suspect to rumors that the TPP is an effort towards isolating China and the MERCOSUR countries. In brief, the rise of “supraterritorial institutions and associations,” such as the TPP, give cause for concern about pitting international powers against each other in ways the world has yet to see (Steger, p. 68).

Source(s):

http://www.thepanamanews.com/pn/v_19/issue_05/economy_06.html
http://www.thepanamanews.com/pn/v_19/issue_06/economy_special_08.html
http://harpers.org/archive/2013/07/glaciers-for-sale/
http://www.ustr.gov/tpp
Steger, Manfred (2013), Globalization: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press

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