Business

TPP trade deal: Who are the winners and losers?

Demonstrators protest against the TPP trade agreement outside the Senate office buildings on Capitol Hill Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Protesters are worried that the trade deal will make generic drugs more expensive

The agreement on the Tran-Pacific Partnership (TPP) between 12 Pacific Rim countries is being touted as the biggest trade deal the world has seen in two decades.

It accounts for more than 40% of the world's economy and includes superpowers such as the US and Japan.

While the monumental deal is aimed at liberalising commerce across the countries, not all of the industries and sectors involved will benefit as much as others.

Here's a look at some of the major winners and losers of the free trade agreement that would cut thousands of taxes or tariffs.

Carmakers

  • Some of the world's biggest car firms based in Japan, such as Toyota and Honda, would benefit from getting cheaper access to the US, which is its biggest export market
  • Japanese carmakers may be able to manufacture US-bound cars with parts bought from elsewhere in Asia, as the deal enforces minimums for locally sourced materials
  • Meanwhile, US vehicle exports would also grow if car tariffs as high as 70% in growing emerging markets such as Vietnam are removed

Farmers

  • Farmers and companies behind foods such as US poultry, that are currently taxed up to 40% in some cases, will benefit if those taxes are cut or eliminated
  • US soybeans, for example, can be taxed as much as 35%
  • Beef farmers are also set to gain on the reduction or elimination of tariffs on the meat into Japan, Mexico and Canada over 10 years
  • Other foods that would see 98% of the taxes eliminated include dairy, sugar, wine, rice and seafood
  • Big food exporting countries such as Australia and New Zealand will benefit from the move
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Media captionWhich countries are in the TPP and what does it mean?

Local job markets

  • Several labour groups are worried the deal would result in jobs leaving developed economies such as the US and being sent to countries with lower wages and less strict labour laws
  • The deal would intensify competition between countries' workforces
  • Vietnam is considered among the big winners, as analysts predict the deal would boost its growth by 11% in the next 10 years as firms move factories to the low-wage country
  • But for less developed economies, it will also mean they have to abide by international labour laws, such as introducing a minimum wage

Drugmakers

  • The deal gives pharmaceutical companies up to eight years of protection for new biotech drugs (expensive medicines produced in living cells), rather than 12 years of protection pushed by the US
  • Activists argue that blocking rivals from making copies of the drugs will drive up the prices of prescription drugs and make them more expensive for people in poorer countries
  • It could also strain national healthcare budgets and keep life-saving medicines from patients who cannot afford them

Tech firms

  • Tech giants such as Google and Uber will see restrictions removed on sales in foreign markets, along with requirements that they establish local infrastructure
  • The countries also vowed to lower global roaming charges through regulation, which could result in increasing competition among telecoms giants

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