Many Member States have already concluded free trade agreements, but there are restrictions. Although China already has a number of bilateral trade agreements, this is the first time it has signed a regional multilateral trade pact. There were conflicting arguments as to whether or not the TPP wanted to strengthen trade liberalization. For the arguments suggesting that the TPP will succeed in liberalizing exchanges between participating nations, the question arises as to whether or not this leads to a positive or negative net change. Some scientists argue that the participatory members of the TPP believe that such membership is a utilitarian and practical method for further trade liberalization.  Scholars Peter Petri and Michael Plummer describe the TPP as a "dynamic - and exemplary, process of competitive liberalization," and this described liberalization can lead to a new mode of governance for Asia-Pacific as well as transnational trade.  Twelve countries participated in the TPP negotiations: the four contracting parties to the 2005 Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement and eight other countries. All twelve signed the TPP on February 4, 2016.  The agreement would have entered into force after ratification by all signatories if this had been done within two years. If the agreement had not been ratified by all by 4 February 2018, it would have entered into force after ratification by at least six states, which together have a GDP of more than 85% of the GDP of all signatories. The U.S. withdrawal from the agreement in January 2017 ended virtually all prospects for the agreement to enter into force.
In response, the other parties successfully negotiated a new version of the agreement, which does not have the 85% of GDP threshold, the CPTPP, which came into force in December 2018. Morin and Baumier of the Canada Research Chair in International Political Economy (letter to the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development), argue that while the TPP contains an impressive number of environmental provisions and a wide range of environmental protection areas, very few of these standards are innovative, most of which have been copied into previous U.S. agreements , and that the TPP missed an opportunity to make an original and progressive contribution to the environmental agenda. However, the TPP is breaking new ground in using a combination of U.S. and European approaches to environmental protection. In fact, the TPP has become much more detailed and specific than regular US agreements, when it was legally more binding than the European agreements.  Although the TPP has not been adopted, the agreement had already introduced forms of regulatory cooperation for agriculture that go beyond those found at the WTO.  This means that regulators have come into contact and established trust among various signatories to the TPP.  Chad P. Bown, senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, argues that this regulatory cooperation has resulted in the U.S. poultry industry not being so hard hit by the 2015 avian influenza outbreak, as regulators in TPP countries cooperated and continued to accept U.S. poultry exports.
 U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said that business and industry have a disproportionate influence on the United States.
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