New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay on Jan. 21 local time announced that his government has issued invitations to ministers from all Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries for a Feb. 4 signing ceremony in Auckland, New Zealand. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will participate in the signing, according to a USTR spokesman.
[Daily News| January, 25 2016 | World Trade Online]
In his announcement, McClay said that the signing of the TPP agreement will “mark the end of the TPP negotiating process.” The 12 participating countries will then have up to two years to complete their respective domestic ratification processes, McClay said.
According to the U.S. Trade Promotion Authority law, formal congressional consideration of TPP can only begin once the administration submits the final implementing bill to Congress. That bill is traditionally accompanied by an economic impact assessment prepared by the International Trade Commission, which is expected by May 18.
Politically, the administration faces hurdles on TPP because the congressional leadership of both parties has signaled it is not prepared to bring up the agreement for a vote in the near term.