CHAPTER 1 OF THE TPP: INITIAL PROVISIONS AND GENERAL DISPOSITIONS

Chapter 1 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) specifies the Initial Provisions and the General Definitions of the specific terms used in more than one chapter of the agreement.

Section A of Chapter 1 deals with the Initial Provisions. Accordingly, it establishes a free trade area (Article 1.1), in accordance with the terms laid down in Article XXIV of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994 (GATT 1994) and in Article V of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

In particular, aforementioned section recognizes that the TPP can coexist with other international agreement as follows:

  1. In relation to the international agreements to which all Parties of the TPP are party, including the agreements of the World Trade Organization (WTO); and
  2. In relation with the international agreements to which at least two Parties are party.

In both cases, every Party recognizes its existing rights and obligations that stem from aforesaid agreements, and, accordingly, agrees to respect and honor them.

If a Party believes that a clause of the TPP is inconsistent with a disposition of another agreement to which said Party, and at least another Party, are party, the concerned Parties shall consult in the view of reaching a mutually satisfactory solution. It must be outlined that this paragraph is without prejudice to a Party’s rights and obligations under Dispute Settlement (Chapter 28).

Section B of Chapter 1 deals with General Definitions (Article 1.3). Accordingly, the terms used in at least two chapters of the agreement are defined. Among other things, are defined:

  • International agreements, above all several agreements of the WTO (TRIPS, GATS, etc.); and
  • Technical terms (custom duties, textile good, state enterprise, etc.).

Chapter 1 comes with Annex 1-A, where the Party-Specific Definitions are specified, in relation with the General Definitions of Article 1.3. Said Party-Specific Definitions prescribe the different meanings that every Party gives to a same term.