The 18th round Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations ended on July 25 in Malaysia, and progress was made in several areas, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). The negotiating groups covered market access, rules of origin, technical barriers to trade, investment, financial services, e-commerce and transparency, and reached agreement on a wide range of technical issues in these chapters. Negotiating groups found common ground on some of the thornier issues, including intellectual property, competition and environmental protection. Japan became the 12th member country involved in the negotiations. With Japan’s entry, TPP countries now account for nearly 40 percent of global Gross Domestic Product and about one-third of all world trade. The 19th round of negotiations began in Brunei on August 22. For the full USTR summary, visit USTR.