The TPPA and financial sector deregulation
The Bush administration announced that it was joining the negotiations on the unfinished business of financial services and investment between the parties to the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (or P-4) in February 2008. At that time, the sub-prime mortgage market was collapsing; the British government had bailed out Northern Rock; and iconic US financial institutions, such as Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and AIG, were in a precarious state. These and further signs of a systemic financial meltdown should have rung alarm bells about an agreement that would deepen the global integration of financial markets, enhance the expansion of financial institutions that were deemed 'too big to fail', and facilitate the trade in 'innovative' financial products that turned toxic. Instead of reviewing the wisdom of these agreements, the US, Chile, Singapore, Brunei Darussalam and New Zealand governments engaged in three rounds of negotiations on financial services and investment in the P-4 in March, June and September of 2008.