International Trade Law Research Guide

This guide features resources on international trade law.

Mega-Regional Trade Agreements: CPTPP & T-TIP

The WTO’s failure to complete the Doha Development Round of multilateral trade negotiations prompted advocates of trade liberalization to pursue “mega-regional” trade agreements as an alternative to multilateral deals.  Two of the most prominent mega-regional deals are the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), concluded by a group of Pacific Rim nations, and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (T-TIP), which is still under negotiation between the U.S. and the European Union. 

An electoral backlash against trade deals in the developed world has cast doubt on the viability of the mega-regional approach.  The United States had been one of the 12 Pacific Rim nations which negotiated what initially had been known simply as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  When the U.S. announced its unilateral withdrawal from the TPP in January of 2017, many assumed that the deal was dead.  However, the remaining eleven signatories subsequently announced their intention to move forward with a slightly modified version of the agreement, renamed the CPTPP.  Meanwhile, negotiations between the U.S. and the E.U. over the T-TIP remain stalled but have not broken down entirely. 

Even if these mega-regional deals do not succeed, they will still be of interest to researchers for their innovations with respect to investor-state dispute settlement and for their attempts to address concerns about the impact of trade on human rights, labor standards, and environmental regulations, among other matters.

Researching Mega-Regional Trade Agreements

Scholarly Books

A selection of scholarly books from the collection of the Georgetown Law Library on the TPP, the T-TIP, and other mega-regional trade agreements is provided in the column on the right.

To locate additional materials from the Georgetown Law Library's collection, use the Advanced Search and select Law Library Catalog.  Enter the acronym of the desired trade agreement in the search box.  Or enter the full name of the agreement and search for it as an exact phrase. 

For a narrower search, use the menu to the left of the search box to select Title as the search field instead of the default Any Field setting.  Or select Subject as the search field and enter one of the following subject headings in the search box:

Trade-Focused News and Current Awareness Resources

For recently concluded trade agreements and for those agreements that are still under negotiation, specialized news and current awareness resources are often the most reliable sources of information.  Consult the resources described below for the latest developments on the TPP, the T-TIP, and other emerging trade agreements.  They also may be used to track the progress of an agreement over time.

  • World Trade Online
    This online news service maintains dedicated pages for the TPP and the T-TIP, which include both news and links to key negotiating documents that have been released to the public.  To access this material, place your cursor over the Topics button on the red menu bar and click on the appropriate link in the drop-down menu of topics.
  • International Trade News (BloombergBNA)
    This electronic news source monitors developments in international trade law and policy worldwide and is updated every weekday.  By default, only news stories are displayed.  For more in-depth analysis, click on the "Insights" tab in the upper right-hand corner.  Both news stories and insights may be filtered by topic.  To search news content by keyword, be sure to select "International Trade News" as the source using the menu to the right of the search box.

Journal Articles

Journal articles provide more in-depth analysis of trade agreements that are under negotiation or awaiting ratification than news sources.  Bear in mind that when an article is published before the final text of a trade agreement is released to the public, the article is based on the author's informed speculation.  For information and tips on how to find journal articles, consult the Journal Articles page of this research guide.

CPTPP & TPP Texts & Related Documents

The following government websites provide free access to the text of the original 12-nation TPP agreement or to its successor, the CPTPP agreement, along with related documentation:

T-TIP Negotating Texts

The EU has made selected T-TIP negotiating texts available for download in PDF format on this portal page.  Documents include:

  • Factsheets -- brief summaries of each chapter of the proposed agreement.
  • Textual Proposals -- the full text of each chapter, proposed by the EU negotiators.
  • EU Position Papers -- an explanation of what the EU seeks to achieve in each chapter.

In addition, you may download a Reader's Guide to the T-TIP negotiating texts, and a T-TIP Glossary.