From the report summary: "On February 4, 2016, Ministers of the 12 countries participating in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations signed the proposed free trade agreement (FTA). TPP is one of the Obama Administration's signature trade policy initiatives, an effort to reduce and eliminate trade and investment barriers and establish new rules and disciplines to govern trade and investment among the 12 countries. TPP proponents, including Administration officials, argue that the proposed TPP would have substantial strategic benefits for the United States in addition to its direct economic impact. They argue that the agreement would enhance overall U.S. influence in the economically dynamic Asia-Pacific region and advance U.S. leadership in setting and modernizing the rules of commerce in the region and potentially in the multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO). [...] China is not a TPP member, but features prominently in discussion of the agreement's potential strategic effects. Some argue that China is attempting to create a regional order that seeks to minimize U.S. presence and power. In this line of reasoning, the TPP serves as a counter to growing Chinese economic and political influence, implying that failure to conclude TPP could, in effect, allow China to shape regional rules of commerce and diplomacy through its own trade and investment initiatives. Others, however, argue that TPP is complementary to other FTAs and trade agreements throughout the region, including those championed by China, and that new members--possibly including China--will be critical for the TPP to influence regional norms."
CRS Report for Congress, R44361
National Agricultural Law Center: http:nationalaglawcenter.org/