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