Trade Gurus & Public Affairs Mavens

A TPP deal by Friday? Don’t bet the farm

It is raining in Atlanta. It’s likely to rain all week — which suits the mood at the negotiating table so far.

There were rumours circulating Tuesday that chief negotiators working on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal had reached an agreement-in-principle (AIP). Would that be like the AIP that Canada announced with Europe, the one which has spent years in the ‘final polishing and legal drafting’ phase?

Rumours of a deal have been denied — but what are denials worth in this ultra-opaque round of negotiations? No one here is swallowing the AIP bilge. Two years ago, the national leaders involved in these talks suggested they already had an agreement-in-principle. So much for credibility.

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