USTR has pointed to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) development chapter, the first such chapter in any U.S. trade agreement, as evidence that the TPP is an advancement over previous ones. Last night’s release of the official TPP text provides the first opportunity to read the development chapter text (which I believe had not been previously leaked).
The chapter includes a lot of general language about promoting development. For instance, Article 23.2 – “Parties acknowledge the importance of each Party’s leadership in implementing development policies, including policies that are designed for its nationals to maximise the use of the opportunities created by this Agreement.” The heart of the chapter seems to be the Article 23.6, which establishes a Committee on Development that will meet to discuss TPP countries’ experiences with development within the framework of the agreement. Still, there are no concrete obligations for action.