The Trans-Pacific Partnership is an international trade agreement that would substantially reduce tariffs among the 12 participating countries bordering the Pacific. The participants, including the U.S. and Japan but not China, signed the accord on Feb. 4. The TPP is often described as the largest free trade agreement in history -- the participating countries generate more than 40% of world gross national product and originate more than a third of world trade.
To take effect, the TPP would have to be ratified by the participating governments. In the U.S., this would require legislation by Congress. President Barack Obama has expressed strong support for the deal, for example, in a recent joint statement with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, one of the participating countries. Obama has called on Congressional leaders to ratify the agreement during his remaining term of office, which ends on Jan. 20 next year. However, his support for the TPP has been called into question by both leading candidates for the U.S. presidency -- Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.