While likely to hinge on to old-style trade questions such as tariffs and quotas, the main game is freeing up the flow of data across borders according to John Garnaut, Fairfax Media’s Asia Pacific editor.

Data is actually where the cutting edge of protectionism is these days.

This importance of data security and freedom of data being exchanged came into the limelight when huge companies such as Google, Facebook and eBay began packing up or being evicted from the Chinese market place.

“China has restricted market access with a number of digital service companies including Google and eBay, and that’s one of the reasons why Alibaba and Baidu have become dominant players,” says author Stephen Ezell, at The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, an industry body that has had a hand in shaping data chapters of the TPP.

China will not be a founding member of the TPP, but it forms a large part of the backdrop. It is the stand-out example of how political security and industry protectionism can tilt the playing field in the absence of enforceable global norms, but it’s certainly not on its own.

More about this could be accessed from the Sydney Morning Herald article: http://www.smh.com.au/business/world-business/why-the-tpp-main-game-is-rebooting-trade-for-the-ecommerce-age-20150728-gimfkd.html