The agreement would have reduced tariffs and other trade barriers between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. In the United States, the agreement is seen in the broader context of the Obama administration`s military and diplomatic “pivot” to East Asia, described by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a 2012 Op-Ed in Foreign Policy. ISDS cannot ask governments to overturn local laws (unlike the World Trade Organization) that violate trade agreements  but may award damages to investors affected by these laws.  As noted by the Office of the United States Trade Representative, isds requires specific infringements and does not allow companies to sue solely for “loss of profits.”  Economists Peter A. Petri and Michael G. Plummer question whether the TPP will primarily benefit the rich. Their analysis concludes that “the benefits of the TPP appear to be fairly distributed – labour will increase relative to capital, and cost reduction will favour low-income households. Some workers will have to change jobs, but they represent a small fraction of normal employment in a given year and national benefits argue for generous compensation for their accommodation costs. The agreement will also benefit workers in the poorest member countries of the TPP.  Studies by Harvard economist Robert Z. Lawrence have shown that “the percentage gains in labour income generated by the TPP will be slightly greater than the benefits of capital income.
Households of all quintiles will benefit from similar percentages, but once differences in spending are taken into account, the percentages of growth for poor and middle-class households will be slightly higher than the benefits to leading households.   In a statement by Ed Gerwin in the Wall Street Journal, it is argued that the TPP agreement benefits small businesses in the United States.  The agreement reduces rates by more than 18,000.  Tariffs on all U.S. industrial products and virtually all U.S. agricultural products would be eliminated altogether, with most eliminations being immediate.  According to the Congressional Research Service, the TPP would be “the largest free trade agreement in the United States after trade flows ($905 billion in exports of goods and services to the United States and $980 billion in imports in 2014).”  Including the United States, signatories account for about 40% of global GDP and one-third of world trade.  The TPP explicitly excludes the tobacco industry from the ISDS procedure.  The carve-out was a response to concerns about ISDS cases against anti-smoking laws, including Philip Morris against Uruguay.  The ISDS tobacco exemption is a first for an international trade agreement.  According to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the TPP imposes “binding and fully enforceable obligations” on signatories to “protect the freedom to form unions and bargain collectively, protect child labour and forced labour from discrimination in the workplace.”  The obligations include “acceptable working conditions laws for minimum wage, hours of work and safety and health in the workplace.”  The USTR insists that countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam, if they do not impose provisions on forced labour, human trafficking and collective bargaining, will no longer enjoy the economic benefits of the TPP agreement.  In May 2015, U.S.
Congressman Sander Levin argued that it was difficult to impose trade agreements because he questioned Vietnam`s willingness to comply with TPP labor standards.  According to a report by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, there is a significant gap between the labour standards of previous U.S. free trade agreements and the effective application of those rules.  However, PIIE analysts note that studies show that the presence of “sticks” (possible suspension of commercial benefits) and “because