Archive for the ‘Trans-Pacific Partnership’ Category


U.S. Medical Device Industry and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

November 9, 2016

Gerry Zapiain is a Senior International Trade Specialist in Industry and Analysis’ Office of Health and Information Technologies.

Forecast to grow to over $360 billion by 2017, the global medical device market offers tremendous opportunity for U.S. manufacturers. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement is expected to reduce many barriers for U.S. medical device producers and open up even more new business opportunities in some of the fastest growing markets in the world.Medical Devices

ITA’s comprehensive 2016 Top Markets Report for Medical Devices defines a medical device as “any piece of equipment or apparatus used to treat or diagnose an illness and comes into direct contact with the patient.”

The report describes the expansive growth potential for U.S. medical devices in international markets, provides an overview of the challenges and barriers, and forecasts some of the benefits the medical device sector will experience with the TPP agreement.

The U.S. medical device industry is expected to remain highly competitive in the global market. The industry has increasingly embraced globalization. Global demand for medical devices is being driven by increasing expenditures and initiatives on health care, including the building of new hospitals and clinics, establishment of public health insurance, and greater emphasis on improving the health of the general population. In addition, the increase in lifestyle diseases, aging populations, and income levels in developing countries will further catalyze demand.

Currently, The United States exports $5 billion in medical devices to TPP-designated markets annually. The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is dedicated to increasing the trade in goods and services in ways that are critical to U.S. medical device producers and in terms that go beyond past trade agreements.

Key elements in the agreement include:

  • Enhancing dispute resolution mechanisms
  • Improving government procurement practices
  • Stronger intellectual property protections
  • Removing tariffs on medical devices that can be as high as 30%
  • Increased regulatory coherence among the member states
  • Improving transparency with respect to reimbursement and pricing

Ultimately, the TPP will help to make U.S. products more competitive in the region, benefiting U.S. companies that export to TPP signatory countries. Summary case studies reflecting potential TPP agreement opportunities are below:


Malaysia represents one of the more vigorous and vibrant medical device markets in Southeast Asia, presenting opportunities for U.S. exporters to expand their sales into a rising economy. Increasing patient access to healthcare will remain a key focus for the Government of Malaysia over the next 5 years, including upgrading facilities and equipment, and expanding delivery systems.

Top Markets Report Medical Devices Country Case Study: Malaysia


Japan’s market for medical devices and materials continues to be among the world’s largest. According to the latest official figures from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) Annual Pharmaceutical Production Statistics, the Japanese market for medical devices and materials in 2013 was approximately $33.6 billion (up 3.2% from 2012 in yen terms). Japan’s total imports of U.S. medical devices were approximately $7.7 billion in 2013. In the near-term, the market is expected to increase due to Japan’s aging population and continued demands for advanced medical technologies.

Top Markets Report Medical Devices Country Case Study: Japan

For more information on this historic trade agreement and the future opportunities for M&E exports, please download ITA’s Medical Devices Top Markets Report and visit our TPP site.


TPP’s Impact on The Media and Entertainment Industry

November 2, 2016

Andrea DaSilva is a Senior Policy Analyst for Media & Entertainment Industries in Industry and Analysis’ Office of Digital Services Industries. She serves as Team Leader for the Global Media & Entertainment Team.

The Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry is one of the most vibrant exporting sectors of the U.S. economy – and with the help of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, M&E companies will experience increased benefits in high-growth international markets.


Media and Entertainment

ITA’s comprehensive 2016 Top Markets Report for Media & Entertainment provides specifics on how this sector is expanding. It details export market prospects across four sectors, including book publishing, filmed entertainment, music, and video games, and provides a special review of the significant opportunities that will be generated for the M&E sector in TPP agreement countries.

TPP is anticipated to produce significant benefits to the U.S. Media and Entertainment industry, including robust growth rates, stronger anti-piracy protections, and unique opportunities for partnerships in licensing content.

Even after excluding the United States and Brunei, the ten TPP partner countries comprise $308 billion in M&E revenues for 2016. This trade zone will present opportunities for diverse sub-sectors, content, and delivery platforms. Opportunities across the TPP countries for M&E companies abound as policymakers focus on creating an equitable, fair, and accessible digital economy that protects intellectual property.

The TPP agreement has many essential components for enabling the M&E industry to share, create, and distribute content globally. Important facets and provisions of the TPP agreement include:

  • Prohibition of customs duties on digital products so that M&E businesses that distribute products electronically are not disadvantaged.
  • A clause detailing that imports of digital products (music, movies, videos, games, e-books and related entertainment software) are not subject to discriminatory taxation, outright blocking, or other forms of content discrimination.
  • Promoting global interoperability, so U.S. companies are less likely to have to produce special hardware for each country in order to operate there.
  • Promoting reasonable network access and competitive supply of telecommunications services, which enable communications and the distribution of M&E content and services.
  • Ensuring a competitive digital marketplace so that small businesses, individuals and others can access and move data freely, with commensurate privacy protections; this in turn protects an open Internet and digital and online cross-border trade.

The policies and regulations governing M&E sectors are struggling to keep pace and remain relevant. Many foreign governments are pursuing trade restrictive barriers to protect their markets. The TPP agreement is designed to remove undue restrictions and ensure that U.S. media and entertainment companies can access the valuable opportunities in the global digital economy.  Summary snapshots reflecting some of the potential TPP agreement opportunities are below:

Sub-sector: Video Games

Video games (especially digital) are growing exponentially across the globe, and there is no exception in the TPP countries. Every country is seeing major growth in this sector. The video games market is part of trend of transitioning to digital downloading platforms in TPP markets, with the Asian partner countries leading the way in growth: By 2019, Japan (17.1 percent CAGR, $707 million), Malaysia (19.8 percent CAGR, $38 million), Singapore (18.2 percent CAGR, $28 million), and Vietnam (24.1 percent CAGR, $14 million). These figures demonstrate the tremendous potential for U.S. companies to partner or license with in-country companies.

Country Case Study: Mexico

The sixth top market in the M&E Top Markets Report, Mexico has a booming M&E sector with the second largest media market in Latin America. Mexico’s M&E industry is set to grow at a 6.7 percent CAGR to reach $35.5 billion by 2019. The nominal GDP growth at 7.0 percent with an increasing household consumption, urbanization and broadband penetration (to reach 75 percent in 2018) signals a larger consumer base for M&E sectors. In 2010, the Mexican government launched a $20 million film tax incentive program aimed at encouraging both domestic production and foreign investment in the filmed entertainment sector. Piracy is a significant challenge, and neither the legal framework nor enforcement is particularly effective in protecting creative content, and therefore this is a major policy focus for the government to meet the standards of the TPP agreement.

For more information on this historic trade agreement and the future opportunities for M&E exports, please download ITA’s Media and Entertainment Top Markets Report  and visit our TPP site.



Connecting Economies for Growth: Secretary Pritzker on Why the TPP Matters

October 26, 2016

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.


This week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker sat down with Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown in Chicago to discuss the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) for U.S. businesses of all sizes. Their discussion was the focal point of a Motorola town hall in which employees had the opportunity to hear first-hand about the trade agreement. TPP is the most ambitious, high-standard trade agreement ever negotiated by the United States. Economic benefits of the agreement include the elimination of more than 18,000 tariffs and the elimination of discriminatory trade barriers that prevent U.S. companies from doing business in the Asia-Pacific region.


U.S. Secretary Commerce Penny Pritzker and Motorola Solutions CEO Greg Brown at an armchair discussion in Chicago.

Secretary Pritzker and Mr. Brown discussed why TPP’s approval is important for U.S. employers and workers. In 2015, 4.1 million American jobs were supported by goods and services exports to the 11 TPP countries. With the agreement in place, there is an opportunity to create more jobs by reducing barriers to American exports of goods and services.

TPP also benefits employers and workers by allowing the U.S. to shape the rules of the global economy. For example, TPP contains the toughest labor protections of any U.S. trade agreement in history by requiring strong, enforceable standards in each partner country. In addition, TPP is the first Free Trade Agreement to require criminal penalties for trade secret theft, including by means of a computer system.

Small and medium-sized businesses will also benefit from TPP. For the first time in any trade agreement, there is a dedicated chapter on small and medium-sized businesses that focuses on how these firms can benefit from trade. TPP will address trade barriers that pose disproportionate challenges to small businesses, such as high tariffs, overly complex trade paperwork, corruption, customs “red tape,” restrictions on Internet data flows, weak logistics services that raise costs, and slow delivery of small shipments.

Secretary Pritzker underscored that TPP will promote American leadership and values internationally. Many TPP partners continue to not only welcome, but rely on a strong U.S. presence for everything from keeping the seas open for trade to protecting their territorial integrity. TPP will make the U.S. stronger abroad, bringing the U.S. closer together with allies and enhancing security and stability across the entire Asia-Pacific.

As Secretary Pritzker took questions from Mr. Brown and Motorola employees, she stressed that there will be consequences for American workers, and American businesses if TPP is not approved by Congress this year. She noted failure to approve TPP could cost the U.S. economy $94 billion each year in lost economic opportunities. The Secretary also emphasized the strategic consequences of inaction, affirming that countries like New Zealand, Vietnam, and Malaysia already have trade agreements with China, thus American exporters today have to pay the full tariff rates that their Chinese competitors do not. She stressed that the U.S. cannot afford to miss this opportunity to secure influence in the Asia-Pacific and ensure American businesses can compete.

To hear more about TPP from Greg Brown and Secretary Pritzker listen to their radio interview with WBEZ Chicago’s Worldview.


Recommendations from President’s Export Council Stress Passing of TPP

September 19, 2016

This post originally appeared on the Department of Commerce blog.

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker attended the final meeting of the Obama Administration’s President’s Export Council. Bringing together leaders in government, business, labor, and agriculture, the PEC has served as the principal national advisory committee on international trade and meets regularly to discuss new recommendations for resolving trade-related challenges among the business, industrial, agricultural, labor and government sectors.

Penny Pritzker

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Delivers Opening Remarks at the Final Obama Administration Meeting of the President’s Export Council (PEC) at the White House.

In its final meeting with Secretary Pritzker, the PEC adopted key recommendations that emphasize the immediate need to work with Congress to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and secure a quorum on the board of the Export-Import Bank.

In a letter to President Obama on behalf of the Council, PEC Chair and Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation Ursula Burns stated that the private sector members of the PEC believe that the “single most important step the United States Government can take to promote increased U.S. exports and the continued recovery and growth of the U.S. economy is to secure passage of TPP this year.”

Citing increased market access abroad, comprehensive tariff elimination, enhanced IP protections, and strengthened labor and environmental protections, the PEC noted that TPP represents an important symbol of American commitment and leadership in the Asia Pacific, promoting geopolitical stability and offering positive direction for international relations.

In her remarks to the Council, Secretary Pritzker affirmed the Department of Commerce’s commitment to securing approval of the TPP, noting that it provides an opportunity to secure America’s influence in the Asia-Pacific, the fastest growing region in the world, and ensure U.S. businesses can compete on a level playing field.

In praising PEC members for their vocal support for TPP as it nears the finish line, Secretary Pritzker noted that with their help, the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be the crowning achievement of this Administration’s trade agenda.

Secretary Pritzker closed by thanking Council members for their work to strengthen the American economy and their pivotal role in supporting the Obama administration’s accomplishments in international trade including the passage of Trade Promotion Authority and Trade Adjustment Assistance, creating a more transparent and efficient export control system, finalizing a new trade agreement with Korea, Colombia and Panama, and creating the 2016 National Export Strategy, which is set to publish later this month.


New Zealand and the United States Build Relationship Through Free Trade

August 2, 2016

Diane Farrell is the Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) for Asia at the U.S. Department of Commerce.  Adrian Stover is an International Trade Specialist covering New Zealand.  Both are based in Washington, DC.

New Zealand is an important partner for the United States in the Asia-Pacific region.  Across the board, New Zealand and the United States have worked closely to expand opportunities, peace and prosperity in the South Pacific with shared economic, security, defense, diplomatic, and development efforts.  In addition, the United States and New Zealand have worked together to help shape emerging institutions in the Asia-Pacific such as the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.  The TPP is a high-standard agreement to support broad-based mutual economic growth, create a level playing field, protect the rights of workers, preserve the environment, and uphold intellectual property rights.


New Zealand

Like neighboring Australia, New Zealand is a rules-based democracy with familiar legal and corporate structures and an English-speaking business culture.  New Zealand is consistently ranked among the top countries in economic freedom, lack of corruption, and ease of doing business, placing 2nd of 189 countries in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index in 2016.  In addition, its market of 4.5 million people is ideal for small and medium-sized U.S. companies, including those that are new to exporting.

The United States is New Zealand’s third-ranked trading partner after China and Australia.  In 2014, the United States exported $4.3 billion in goods and $2.2 billion in services to New Zealand.

New Zealand and the United States recognize the mutual benefits of regional trade and worked closely together during negotiations for the TPP.  The TPP is New Zealand’s first trade agreement with the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico, and Peru.  Under TPP, New Zealand will eliminate all tariffs on U.S. exports of industrial and consumer goods, including machinery, chemicals and automobile parts, which currently face tariffs of up to 10 percent.

The TPP will enhance the ability of U.S. companies to collaborate seamlessly with New Zealand companies to access the less developed, but fast-growing markets of TPP member countries like Malaysia and Vietnam.  With free trade access to the most dynamic 40 percent of the global GDP, the TPP will link New Zealand with globally significant markets and will help diversify its trade and investment relationships.

For information on new U.S. export opportunities to New Zealand under the TPP please see our New Zealand TPP factsheet.  Additionally, to learn about best sectors for U.S. exports to New Zealand, please see our Country Commercial Guide and Top Market Reports.  We invite U.S. exporters interested in exploring the New Zealand market to contact our Commercial Specialist in Wellington.


Vietnam: a Land of Opportunity for U.S. Exporters

July 20, 2016

Stuart Schaag is a career Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Commercial Service.  He currently serves as Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi. Barbara Banas is an International Trade Specialist with the Office of ASEAN and the Pacific Basin, where she covers Vietnam. She is based in Washington, D.C.

Before you keep reading, let’s conduct an experiment. Open another page on your internet browser and type the word “Viet” into the search bar. What was the first term that came up from the autofill function? It wasn’t “Vietnam”, was it? More than forty years have passed since the end of the U.S. conflict with Vietnam, yet our old ghosts still linger, revealed in our internet algorithms. As Pulitzer Prize winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen stated, “Vietnam is a country and not a war,” a fact that many U.S. companies are learning as they seek out new export markets. We like to think that Vietnam is not a war and not just a country, but an opportunity.



Since the United States and Vietnam renewed diplomatic relations in 1995, our commercial relationship has grown exponentially. The United States is now Vietnam’s largest export market and a major source of foreign direct investment. Conversely, in 2015, Vietnam was the United States’ fastest growing export market (up over 23% from 2014) among new TPP partners, demonstrating the increasing demand for U.S. technologies and goods. Moreover, in Asia, Vietnam’s average annual economic growth rate of well over 5% over the past 25 years has been second only to China’s. After rebounding from the doldrums of the last decade’s global financial crisis, Vietnam has regained its luster as an investment destination and lucrative export market. Last year closed with the economy back in full swing, buoyed by GDP growth of over 6%. What does growth like this mean for Vietnam’s future? The recent joint World Bank and Ministry of Planning and Investment study, Vietnam 2035, states that “growth rates in this range would produce by 2035 an upper-middle income country on the cusp of high income – at the level of Malaysia or the Republic of Korea in the mid-2000s.”

Vietnam offers many opportunities to U.S. exporters. With a population of over 90 million, Vietnam is filled with young, tech-savvy consumers (median age is just 29). According to a 2013 study by the Boston Consulting Group, Vietnam represents the fastest growing middle class in the region.  In fact, Vietnam’s middle class is predicted to double by 2020, exceeding 30 million consumers. We are already experiencing the benefits of this rising middle class. In 2015 there were over 18,700 Vietnamese students studying in the United States. That same year, over 85,000 Vietnamese travelers visited the United States, representing the largest growth in Asia (up over 30% from 2014).  Vietnam is now ranked among Asia’s top 5 retail markets. Consumer confidence is among the highest in Asia, where more than 90% of residents in Ho Chi Minh City consider themselves to be part of the middle class, a response rate higher than in Singapore, Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur.

That is Vietnam today. As a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Vietnam of tomorrow will be further transformed. There is no doubt that Vietnam stands to gain the most out of the 12 TPP member countries. According to several economists’ estimates, the TPP Agreement could increase Vietnam’s exports by about 30% by 2025 and raise GDP by more than 10%. Why should U.S. exporters care? Because a more prosperous Vietnam means a better market for American products. The TPP will further open Vietnam’s market to U.S. companies, as the country has agreed to reform its state-owned enterprises, adopt stricter environmental standards, and permit workers freedom of association. Upon entry into force, 88% of U.S. non-agricultural exports to Vietnam will be duty free (our handy FTA Tariff Tool can help you identify how your products will benefit).

Let’s look at cars as an example. Under the TPP Agreement, 98.1% of U.S. auto parts exports will be eligible for immediate duty-free treatment in the new TPP markets, and all remaining tariffs will be eliminated over time. Considering that automotive sales in Vietnam were up 40% in 2014 and the ownership rate is still among the lowest in Asia, this is a great example of how opportunities created by Vietnam’s growth, linked with the implementation of the TPP, make Vietnam such an exciting market for American exporters.

Americans visiting Vietnam are often astounded by the chaos of this country’s traffic. They stand speechless as a never–ending sea of motorcycles seamlessly weaves in and out of traffic, seemingly oblivious to those behind them. They point incredulously at the scooters driving into an intersection without a second glance to see if the way is clear. How can this be? The unwritten rule of the road in Vietnam is: the driver in front always has the right of way. This driving culture is but a window on the Vietnamese ethos – always look forward. The young Vietnamese you will encounter in the cafes, clubs and streets of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City are excited for what the future holds. Born long after the war ended, they see America as their best ally and a country to emulate. They believe their future is linked to ours, and hope that we believe the same.

For more information on new U.S. export opportunities in Vietnam under the TPP please see our Vietnam TPP factsheet.  Additionally, to find out more about best prospect sectors in Vietnam, please see our Country Commercial Guide and Top Market Reports. We invite U.S. exporters interested in exploring the Vietnamese market to contact us.


Mexico and the United States Expand Relationship Through TPP

July 5, 2016

Leslie Wilson is the Mexico Desk Officer at the International Trade Administration

The United States and Mexico share a deep, longstanding relationship that goes far beyond diplomatic relations to include extensive commercial, cultural, and educational ties, with over $1.6 billion in two-way trade of goods and services and roughly one million legal border crossings each day.  Mexico is our second largest export market and third largest source of imports, with annual two-way trade of $580 billion, reflecting the highly integrated nature of our bilateral value chains.

Shipping containers

US companies will be able to do business in Mexico hassle-free, thanks to TPP.

These deep commercial ties not only make Mexico a favorable market for businesses to expand their operations, but they also make it an ideal first market for new exporters.  Mexico is a high-performing, diversified economy with strong macroeconomic fundamentals.  It provides significant opportunities for U.S. exporters in key sectors such as chemicals, automotive products, metals and ores, machinery, and information and communication technologies. In fact, more than 18,000 U.S. companies have operations in Mexico and more than 57,000 U.S. companies exported goods to Mexico in 2013. These goods exports supported over 952,000 U.S. jobs, and services exports supported an additional 192,777 U.S. jobs. In addition to these market opportunities, initiatives between our governments such as the U.S.-Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue promote mutual economic growth, job creation, and competitiveness.

Our commercial ties have been strengthened by new and existing trade agreements that allow companies to expand and compete in Mexico. The entry into force of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 created open markets, low tariffs, strong protections for intellectual property, low energy costs, a skilled work force, and integrated supply chains that resulted in U.S. exports of over $240 billion to Mexico in 2014. In fact, a full 40 percent of the content of Mexican exports is comprised of U.S. inputs. That means that of all the products that Americans buy that are manufactured in Mexico, an average of 40 percent of those products’ value-added components are made here in the United States.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) represents a further step forward in strengthening our corridor and advancing our regional competitiveness, as the TPP will allow U.S. companies greater market access to 300 million consumers and the fastest growing region in the world in the Asia-Pacific. TPP will enable the strengthening of our global supply chains by providing U.S. exporters with preferential access to our 11 TPP partners and incentivizing stakeholders in North America to engage in greater and deeper integration. The TPP will go beyond NAFTA by adopting higher standards and stronger provisions in areas like e-commerce, anti-corruption, state-owned enterprises, intellectual property rights, small and medium-sized enterprises, environment, and labor.  It will also further expand business opportunities in key sectors such as energy, telecommunications, electronic commerce, financial services, and agribusiness.

Mexico’s sweeping reforms in energy, telecommunications, finance, and labor practices make it an increasingly attractive market for U.S. businesses to become more competitive, and the TPP will further complement these reforms. For further information on the export opportunities to Mexico under the TPP please see our Mexico TPP report. The U.S. Commercial Service team in Mexico stands ready to support your company with offices in Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.  We look forward to hearing from you!