Years in the making, the Trans-Pacific Partnership was signed in New Zealand today by a dozen Pacific Rim countries. The ratification process is next. President Obama calls it “a new type of trade deal that puts American workers first.” The MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd weighed in on the news today:

Image (3) chris_dodd__111214020216-275x197.jpg for post 704030“Today’s signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is an important step toward enacting a trade agreement of enormous international and economic significance. The core principles in the TPP – including open markets and strong copyright protections – will allow the U.S. film and television industry to better compete in foreign markets and create even more economic growth and American jobs. We thank Ambassador Froman and the entire USTR team for their continued dedication to advancing the TPP and strengthening U.S. competitiveness around the world.”

The U.S., Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Trans-Pacific PartnershipPeru, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan signed the deal today — but not China. The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office said TPP’s goal is to “promote economic growth; support the creation and retention of jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty in our countries; and promote transparency, good governance, and enhanced labor and environmental protections.” If ratified, the deal would set new international rules for sectors beyond trade. It covers some 40 percent of the world’s economy.  Here is President Obama’s full statement on today’s signing:

For more than five years, a group of 12 countries have negotiated a forward-looking trade deal that sets new, high standards for trade and investment in one of the world’s fastest growing and most important regions. Today, these countries signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership – a new type of trade deal that puts American workers first.

Right now, the rules of global trade too often undermine our values and put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage. TPP will change that. It eliminates more than 18,000 taxes that various countries put on Made in America products. It promotes a free and open Internet and prevents unfair laws that restrict the free flow of data and information. It includes the strongest labor standards and environmental commitments in history – and, unlike in past agreements, these standards are fully enforceable.  TPP allows America – and not countries like China – to write the rules of the road in the 21st century, which is especially important in a region as dynamic as the Asia-Pacific.

Put simply, TPP will bolster our leadership abroad and support good jobs here at home. That’s why I released the full text of the agreement three months ago for all to see, and it’s why I’ll continue working with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to enact it into law as soon as possible so our economy can immediately start benefiting from the tens of billions of dollars in new export opportunities. We should get TPP done this year and give more American workers the shot at success they deserve and help more American businesses compete and win around the world.