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Is there a reason why the US are negotiating separately a transpacific and transatlantic trade agreement ? The fact that, except for the US, no one knows what will go in both agreement until the end of the negotiation seems pretty odd.

The elites of North America and Europe already work pretty well together against the majority's interests. There's a sort of them vs everyone else thing going on that's been going on a long time. A deal within the group's members is always easier than outside and might get special benefits.

Asia is full of countries America exploits, semi-exploits, isn't exploiting enough, or opposes entirely. The goal of that treaty would be to exploit those countries more, increase our power in future interactions, and reduce various risks they or their markets pose. Very different situation. However, methods elites in government and business use to achieve their objectives will be similar. Hence, the overlap in the two.

They just have more work to do and stronger competition on the Pacific side. ;)

Part of the difference is that the EU is a very different kind of negotiating partner than the East Asian countries involved. While in TPP the concern was about US standards being diluted by the transfer of economic activity to other countries, in TTIP the concern goes the other way around. EU consumer protections regarding things like privacy and agricultural products are stricter (though the latter include some IMO ridiculous things like a blanket GMO been). It's also a bilateral treaty; there's none of the wrangling of dozens of different negotiating parties, there's just the US and EU trade negotiators.

Also, there's the practical reason - the Asian partners don't know the contents of TTIP because they're not parties to it. TTIP covers EU-US trade, and TPP covers Asia-US trade. I think these flows are larger than direct EU-Asia trade, but if not, it's up to the EU and the TPP partners to negotiate between themselves. Which is part of the untidiness of these trade deals happening outside of the WTO, but those global deals seem to be pretty dead; there are just too many parties involved with too many competing interests to come to a single deal that everyone's happy with.

It's hard enough to get the number of parties in each of two agreements to agree on anything. Wrangling what would be the majority of the developed world into a single agreement is not feasible at this time.

I can see a lot of reasons for the US to negotiate a trade treaty specifically with the EU, but both treaties seem to cover a lot of the same ground. And the US has to comply with both, which presumably means that they have to be mostly identical where they do overlap.

The whole thing is a bit strange.

Presumably the USA ['s most rich business owners] can get different things out of each, they'll be able to diddle the Pacific countries out of some things that wouldn't wash in Europe and vice-versa - why would they limit themselves to the benefits they could accrue from all nations. Also if they can get various regulations passed that wouldn't pass in the other region later it may be possible to push those same regulations to the other region based on standardisation.

It's widely assumed that these trade agreements are simply pro-hegemony anti-China agreements, so in that case it makes sense for the US to try and work two different deals to get as much out of each as possible.

China's RCEP covers similar ground as TPP, https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/06/just-when-you-thought-...

TPP allows new trade from China to the US, as automobile parts that will be counted as "Made in Japan/TPP" and qualify for reduced tariffs, http://www.ibtimes.com/trans-pacific-partnership-winners-toy...

Is it Anti-China, to an extent that US wants to define terms of trade in Asia. If China wants to join they have to make necessary reforms to join. Pro-hegemony, lets ask the Vietnamese and Japanese who have to live in the shadow of China. TPP is certainly not a great bargain for American Labor, but from Geopolitical perspective represents Asian pivot by USA. Think it like an economic firewall.

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