Trans Pacific Partnership negotiators released a “Trade Ministers’ Report to Leaders” at the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) that offered little detail about the status of negotiations. Some observers had expected the report to contain a July 2012 deadline for the completion of negotiations, but no deadline was included. (U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Mike Froman told reporters at a press briefing that “There is no firm deadline.”)
USTR released an outline of the agreement, with statements about each of the texts to be included. For the intellectual property section, USTR’s outline says:
TPP countries have agreed to reinforce and develop existing World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) rights and obligations to ensure an effective and balanced approach to intellectual property rights among the TPP countries. Proposals are under discussion on many forms of intellectual property, including trademarks, geographical indications, copyright and related rights, patents, trade secrets, data required for the approval of certain regulated products, as well as intellectual property enforcement and genetic resources and traditional knowledge. TPP countries have agreed to reflect in the text a shared commitment to the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.
During the conference, Mexico and Canada indicated they are interested in joining the Trans Pacific Partnership. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda recently pledged to have his nation join, but this decision has met with controversy.