New leaks show US gaining ground in TPP IP chapter

Nearly a year ago, Wikileaks released a draft text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s intellectual property chapter. I did some visualizations and analysis in the wake of that leak, which you can find here.

Today, Wikileaks released a second draft text of the same chapter. The text of the first leak dates from August 30, 2013; the text of this leak dates from May 16, 2014. While others are analyzing the content of this new leak (see Knowledge Ecology International, Public Citizen, Concurring Opinions, and the EFF), I decided to take a look at how negotiating positions have changed in the nearly 9 months between the two draft texts.

The figure below shows how countries positions have converged between the first and second leaked drafts. Each circled country code indicates where the country stood in the first draft; the arrows emanating from the circles indicate the direction and amount of convergence, and the end of the arrow indicates where the country stands in the second draft.

TPP IP Chapter Negotiating Position Changes

These movements take place around a central point, indicated by the large black star in the middle of the graph. In order for the agreement to conclude, all parties will eventually need to reach this central point.

This next figure is a partial inset from above; it shows the dashed dark gray rectangle from above in more detail, but only shows positions from the second draft.

TPP IP Chapter Negotiating Positions, May 16, 2014

My approach visually indicates how often countries end up on the same side of bracketed text in the drafts. Thus, a large degree of movement doesn’t necessarily indicate that a country changed its views on an issue; rather, it means that is joined by significantly different (and often more) parties than in the earlier draft.

In fact, given the analyses conducted by others, the significant convergence in the second draft suggests the United States is succeeding in convincing other TPP parties to join its positions.

As we might expect in a negotiating process, there’s a significant amount of convergence over time. However, even though there is significantly less disagreement between all parties in the second draft, the United States still lies farthest from the central point of agreement.

I constructed these graphs by extracting country codes from the leaked drafts, counting the frequency of dyadic relationships between countries, then creating distance matrices and plotting these as graphs using multi-dimensional scaling. You can find some very rough code on GitHub.

This post and the included images are licensed CC BY-SA 4.0, and may be shared and reposted with attribution. When reposting, please include a link back to this page, which will contain the most up-to-date version.

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About Gabriel

Ph.D. in political science. Postdoc and resident fellow at Yale Law School's Information Society Project. Tech geek. Mechanically inclined. I study the politics of intellectual property.
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One Response to New leaks show US gaining ground in TPP IP chapter

  1. Pingback: TPP Chord Diagrams using Circos | To Promote the Progress?

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