File-US Trade Representative Michael Froman(C) takes a break from negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty in Atlanta, Georgia, Oct. 1, 2015. (AFP/Paul Handley)
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The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries reached a contentious trade pact that cuts trade barriers, sets labor and environmental standards and protects the intellectual property of multinational corporations. Now each country must sell the deal to skeptical lawmakers.Together, the countries account for 40 percent of world economic output.It is also a welcome boost for Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his efforts to jolt one of the world's biggest economies out of two decades of stagnation.The deal has been negotiated for a decade and has faced opposition in many countries.Alan Bollard, executive director of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group, said the trade agreement can still go into effect even if parliaments in some countries refused to ratify it.Peter Petri, a professor of international finance at Brandeis University, says he doesn't expect the deal to lead to any U.S. job gains. But he forecasts it will boost U.S. incomes by $77 billion a year, or 0.4 percent, by 2025, mostly by creating export-oriented jobs that will pay more, even as other jobs are lost.
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