A new trade pact still has a long road ahead before it can go into effect. But, thus far, construction equipment manufacturers are encouraged with progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), says Nick Yaksich, Association of Equipment Manufacturers' vice president of government affairs and industry relations.
The U.S., Japan and 10 other parties in the Asian-Pacific region reached formal agreement on the TPP on Oct. 5, but the deal must win congressional approval before it can be implemented in the U.S. Under legislation enacted on June 29, trade deals are subject to fast-track action in Congress: up-or-down votes, without amendments.
Lawmakers won't see the deal's details for several months, however. Negotiators will continue a technical process, including a legal review and translation, said U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman on Oct. 5. Lawmakers say they will carefully review the final document.
Yaksich says that, although the specifics have not yet been released, the TPP could remove trade barriers and open new markets to construction equipment manufacturers.
But the deal has critics. Labor unions and environmental groups oppose the TPP, contending that it does not do enough to enforce environmental and labor laws. Leo Gerard, the United Steelworkers' international president, says the TPP shouldn't even be submitted to Congress. In a statement, he said the "hastily concluded TPP deal will simply continue today's outdated, disastrous approach to trade."