The agreement reflects the negligible classification of risks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) in the United States. The main difference between multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements is the number of participants. Multilateral trade agreements cover three or more countries, without discrimination between the parties concerned, while bilateral trade agreements exist between two countries. Both countries, for example, have certain privileges; they have favourable import quotas that are not available to other trading partners and only to the two nations that have signed the bilateral treaty. Examples include the Australia-New Zealand-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and Canada (Dictionary of Political Economy, 2006). Onpulson, 2006). The fourth drawback is that of small businesses in a country. A multilateral agreement gives a competitive advantage to large multinationals. They are already familiar with the operation in a global environment.
As a result, small businesses cannot compete. They lay off workers to reduce costs. Others relocate their factories to countries where living standards are lower. If a region depended on this industry, it would have high unemployment rates. This makes multilateral agreements unpopular. Currently, WTO members are engaged in a round of multilateral negotiations known as the Doha Development Agenda. Negotiations are currently stagnating; the four main players in the food trade (Brazil, the EU, India and the United States) have held discussions but have not yet reached an agreement. Hufbauer believes that the other eleven signatories to the TPP could ratify the TPP among themselves. « This may not be the case this year several months or later. The United States will leave the party, but the United States will be welcome to come if it wishes.
What could happen: « In 2019-20, the United States may be negotiating a bilateral [agreement] with Japan, which is actually the provision of the TPP [with regard to] Japan – perhaps with a little enrichment in terms of Japanese openness [of their domestic markets and a little more of their agricultural markets]. And then let other countries get attached to this bilateral approach.