Seed World

TPP Text Released, Formal Approval Process Begins


After lengthy negotiations, 12 countries came to an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Oct. 5. One month later the U.S. government released a nearly-final version of the pact.
This new information will help stakeholders fully understand the scope and impact of the new agreement and starts the formal process for Congressional approval. With the text now public, President Barack Obama also formally notified Congress of his plan to sign the TPP. According to the requirements of the trade promotion authority legislation, the administration is required to give Congress 90 days’ notice to review the agreement before it is signed. After the president’s signature is in place and implementing legislation is introduced, Congress can take up to 90 legislative days to review and vote on the agreement.
This agreement marks the first time that agricultural biotechnology is covered in a bilateral or regional U.S. trade agreement. The TPP includes provisions on agricultural biotechnology that commit participating countries to foster transparency in their decision-making processes; to work together on situations of low-level presence; and to promote timely authorization of biotech products. It also creates a working group to address matters related to trade in agricultural biotechnology products.