The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) levels the playing field for American workers and American businesses, leading to more Made-in-America exports and more higher-paying American jobs here at home. By cutting over 18,000 taxes different countries put on Made-in-America products, TPP makes sure our farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, service suppliers, and small businesses can compete — and win — in some of the fastest growing markets in the world. With more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers living outside our borders, TPP will significantly expand the export of Made-in-America goods and services and support American jobs.

TPP includes some of the most ambitious commitments ever reflected in a trade agreement. It will also join together countries of differing levels of development, some of which have never undertaken high-standard trade commitments. The Cooperation and Capacity Building chapter will help ensure that all of our partners can fulfill their obligations, draw their maximum potential benefit from the agreement, and emerge as strong and sustainable markets for U.S. exports of goods and services. It does not establish an assistance program, but rather creates a framework to identify needs and resources for capacity building assistance, on a voluntary basis, to ensure full implementation of the TPP Agreement and to maximize its benefits

Overview

Promoting Cooperation and Capacity Building

The Cooperation and Capacity Building chapter recognizes the value of cooperation and capacity building activities, as mutually agreed between two or more Parties, in helping all Parties to fully implement the TPP Agreement.

Procedures for Cooperation and Capacity Building

The chapter establishes a Committee on Cooperation and Capacity Building to identify and review areas for potential cooperative or capacity building efforts, on a voluntary basis and subject to the availability of resources. This Committee will facilitate exchange of information and identify contact points to help with requests related to cooperation and capacity building.

New Features

The United States and other developed TPP countries have been providing technical assistance and trade capacity building during the negotiations, and intend to provide ongoing support to developing country participants during the implementation phase as well. While previous agreements have included capacity-building programs, TPP is the first U.S. agreement to create a formal and permanent framework of cooperation to build the capacity needed in developing countries to fully implement a high-standard agreement. This is especially important as the TPP will be the largest and most diverse Free Trade Agreement the United States has ever negotiated.

Impact

TPP includes a broad range of commitments, covering tariff reductions, trade facilitation, non-tariff barriers, investment, agriculture, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, intellectual property rights, cross-border services trade, labor standards, environmental standards, disciplines on State-Owned Enterprises and a framework for trade related to the digital economy. Realizing these benefits, however, depends not merely on negotiating the commitments, but on fully implementing them.

Especially for TPP’s lower-income members, this will require significant effort. Given scarce resources, it is important to ensure that capacity building resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible. Over time, coordinated approaches to capacity-building will conserve resources while deepening cooperative relationships among TPP technical experts, reinforcing our efforts to expand high-standard rules across TPP.

Article 21.1: General Provisions

1. The Parties acknowledge the importance of cooperation and capacity building activities and shall undertake and strengthen these activities to assist in implementing this Agreement and enhancing its benefits, which are intended to accelerate economic growth and development.

2. The Parties recognise that cooperation and capacity building activities may be undertaken between two or more Parties, on a mutually agreed basis, and shall seek to complement and build on existing agreements or arrangements between them.

3. The Parties also recognise that the involvement of the private sector is important in these activities, and that SMEs may require assistance in participating in global markets.

Article 21.2: Areas of Cooperation and Capacity Building

1. The Parties may undertake and strengthen cooperation and capacity building activities to assist in:

(a) implementing the provisions of this Agreement;

(b) enhancing each Party’s ability to take advantage of the economic opportunities created by this Agreement; and

(c) promoting and facilitating trade and investment of the Parties.

2. Cooperation and capacity building activities may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following areas:

(a) agricultural, industrial and services sectors;

(b) promotion of education, culture and gender equality; and

(c) disaster risk management.

3. The Parties recognise that technology and innovation provides added value to cooperation and capacity building activities, and may be incorporated into cooperation and capacity building activities under this Article.

4. The Parties may undertake cooperation and capacity building activities through modes such as: dialogue, workshops, seminars, conferences, collaborative programmes and projects; technical assistance to promote and facilitate capacity building and training; the sharing of best practices on policies and procedures; and the exchange of experts, information and technology.

Article 21.3: Contact Points for Cooperation and Capacity Building

1. Each Party shall designate and notify a contact point on matters relating to the coordination of cooperation and capacity building activities in accordance with Article 27.5 (Contact Points).

2. A Party may make a request for cooperation and capacity building activities related to this Agreement to another Party or Parties through the contact points.

Article 21.4: Committee on Cooperation and Capacity Building

1. The Parties hereby establish a Committee on Cooperation and Capacity Building (Committee), composed of government representatives of each Party.

2. The Committee shall:

(a) facilitate the exchange of information between the Parties in areas including, but not limited to, experiences and lessons learned through cooperation and capacity building activities undertaken between the Parties;

(b) discuss and consider issues or proposals for future cooperation and capacity building activities;

(c) initiate and undertake collaboration, as appropriate, to enhance donor coordination and facilitate public-private partnerships in cooperation and capacity building activities;

(d) invite, as appropriate, international donor institutions, private sector entities, non-governmental organisations or other relevant institutions, to assist in the development and implementation of cooperation and capacity building activities;

(e) establish ad hoc working groups, as appropriate, which may include government representatives, non-government representatives or both;

(f) coordinate with other committees, working groups and any other subsidiary body established under this Agreement as appropriate, in support of the development and implementation of cooperation and capacity building activities;

(g) review the implementation or operation of this Chapter; and

(h) engage in other activities as the Parties may decide.

3. The Committee shall meet within one year of the date of entry into force of this Agreement, and thereafter as necessary.

4. The Committee shall produce an agreed record of its meetings, including decisions and next steps and, as appropriate, report to the Commission.

Article 21.5: Resources

Recognising the different levels of development of the Parties, the Parties shall work to provide the appropriate financial or in-kind resources for cooperation and capacity building activities conducted under this Chapter, subject to the availability of resources and the comparative capabilities that different Parties possess to achieve the goals of this Chapter.

Article 21.6: Non-Application of Dispute Settlement

No Party shall have recourse to dispute settlement under Chapter 28 (Dispute Settlement) for any matter arising under this Chapter.

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