The political and business worlds are buzzing today after the U.S. and 11 other nations came to an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. While the industry has reacted in favor of the news and critics have been sharp with their protests, these are the five things to know about what happened, why the deal matters to footwear and what lies ahead for the U.S. and TPP.
1. Negotiations are over…sort of.
While the large-scale talks have wrapped up, each of the member states will have to now discuss and agree to language in the final product. Not surprisingly this is expected to last for several weeks, and possibly months.
2. No, there is no text yet.
There is no document to read as of now, so no one can know all the details of what is contained in the agreement. When TPP’s language is finalized and presented to Congress it will be up for a 60-day review and public comment period.
3. Congress will review next year.
Ambassador Michael Froman of the U.S. Office of Trade said the TPP will be an early 2016 item for the U.S. Congress to consider.
4. Twelve nations also have to ratify the treaty.
Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam will all have to ratify the agreement to make it law.
5. Shoe companies care a lot, and consumers should too.
Both apparel and footwear industry organizations have released statements supporting the deal. TPP would end tariffs on footwear, which can account for as much as a third of the price of a pair of shoes.