American exporters could get improved access to Asia-Pacific markets if U.S. negotiations with eight Pacific Rim countries that kicked off this week result in a favorable trade agreement.
U.S. trade talks with Australia, New Zealand, Brueni, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam on a Trans-Pacific Partnership began in San Diego on Monday. Although Mexico and Canada have been invited to the talks, they will not participate in this week’s negotiations.
The talks come after the World Trade Organization-sponsored multinational Doha Round negotiations stalled, and more recently, the U.S. signed free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan are the only countries that don’t have free trade pacts with the U.S.
The U.S business community is pushing for better protection for innovation and intellectual property rights, as nearly two-thirds of U.S. exports are expected to head to Asian high-technology sectors. U.S. negotiators are also expected to try to level the playing field for American exporters competing for state-owned enterprises.