Remarks by President Obama in Meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila
12:20 P.M. PHT
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I want to welcome all the leaders and trade ministers who are here. This marks our first gathering at the leaders level since our 12 countries agreed on the landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership. We were able to complete the negotiations thanks to the commitment of the leaders here. And I thank each of you, but I think it’s also appropriate for us to thank our trade ministers and their teams who engaged in extraordinary work in some very challenging negotiations across a wide range of issues. All of you did an outstanding job.
TPP is at the heart of our shared vision for the future of this dynamic region. We want all countries to pursue their interests and prosperity peacefully, based on common rules of the road on an open, level playing field — a fair trade. And our countries comprise nearly 40 percent of global GDP, and some one-third of global trade. So this isn’t about boosting exports between our countries in the Asia Pacific. The TPP is also helping to write the rules of global trade for the 21st century.
This is the highest standard and most progressive trade deal ever concluded. It includes strong protections for workers, prohibitions against child labor and forced labor. It has provisions to protect the environment, to help stop wildlife trafficking, to protect our oceans. These are enforceable provisions that can be brought to bear much as the same way any provisions related to tariffs can be dealt with. And as a consequence, this is not only a good deal economically; it also reflects our common values.
The TPP includes countries large and small, developed and developing. But we have a shared vision of how to move forward. Today, we’re going to discuss the road ahead to ensure that TPP is enacted in each of our countries as swiftly as possible. Obviously, execution is critical after we have arrived at the text.
And I just want to once again commend all the leaders here for their extraordinary leadership. This is not easy to do. The politics of any trade agreement are difficult. The fact that everyone here has stepped up and made some hard decisions that are going to pay off for decades to come I think is testimony to the vision that was reflected. And I want to congratulate all of you for outstanding work.
Thank you very much, everybody. With that, we’re going to do a little work.
12:23 P.M. PHT