News·2 min read

TPP: The Trans-Pacific Partnership explained

Oct 1, 2015

The story

The US and 11 other Pacific Rim countries just inked a

major trade deal

. Let's break down the TPP

Psst...what's the Pacific Rim?

Countries that

border the Pacific Ocean

Why should I care about this deal?

Nice. Sounds easy as pie.

Dramatic pie. Trade deals don’t get done over a few FaceTime convos. This one is years in the making. The final details got hammered out over five all-nighters in an Atlanta, GA hotel. Each of the 12 countries had somebody repping all the industries on the table (think: retail, autos, pharma). The whole deal got delayed because of, per usual, a standoff between the

dairy negotiators

So what's in the deal?

Lower tariffs

so that it’s cheaper for the 12 countries to buy each other’s goods. It also sets

new environmental and labor standards

, and makes it easier for

service industries


…as in

Japan’s all revved up


…as in the US is drugging everyone. This deal

protects biologics


…as in New Zealand farmers are

milking it

What about China?

Not included. The deal is seen as a way to stop China from being in control in the region. But it also

leaves the door open

What's next?

What are people saying?

The White House says this deal will be a game-changer for the US economy by opening up the Pacific Rim to American goods.

A lot of Democrats

in Congress are saying, ‘but there’s a trade-off’ -- this deal will hurt US workers by sending jobs overseas. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are playing the silent game. They are

pro-free trade


This is the world’s biggest trade deal in decades, and one that Obama would like to file under ‘legacy.’ He just has to get his friends in

Congress to agree

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