Ministers and representatives of Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Viet Nam, as Members of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), met in San Francisco, USA, on 15 November 2023 (PST). On this occasion, they reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the Agreement is dynamic and living and that it remains the “gold standard” for trade agreements. Ministers once again welcomed the successful completion of the accession process for the United Kingdom. The focus now turns to the completion of Members’ respective domestic processes to bring the Protocol on the Accession of the United Kingdom to CPTPP into force in a timely manner.
Ministers endorsed the Terms of Reference for the CPTPP General Review, which will support the maximum utilisation of the CPTPP and improve the uptake of the Agreement, particularly by micro, small and medium enterprises, as well as consider trade outcomes that support women’s and Indigenous Peoples’ economic empowerment, and sustainable environmental practices.
The General Review process will proceed in 2024 and will take into account the work of all committees, working groups and any other subsidiary bodies established under the Agreement; relevant developments in international fora; and input from non-governmental persons or groups, as appropriate.
Ministers reaffirmed that the CPTPP is open to accession requests by economies that are ready to meet the high standards of the Agreement and have a demonstrated pattern of complying with trade commitments, and that decisions are dependent on the Membership reaching consensus, so that the benefits to the Membership can continue to grow through the accession process.
Ministers noted that since the last CPTPP Commission in July 2023, the Membership has been gathering information on whether aspirant economies can meet CPTPP’s high standards and whether they have a demonstrated pattern of compliance with trade commitments. Ministers reaffirmed that the information collected to date will not prejudge any process, outcome, decision and/or actions to be taken by CPTPP Members, including the commencement of an aspirant economy’s accession process. The Membership will continue this work and develop a process for future accessions that is efficient, fair, high quality, attractive to aspirant economies, and informed by lessons learned from the United Kingdom’s accession.
Ministers noted the importance of moving forward collectively on accession processes in a way that reflects the interests of all Members and maintains the high standards of the Agreement.