Japanese trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman agreed Sunday that the two countries will work together toward concluding the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations within the year.
Meeting before the 19th round of the talks aimed at forging one of the largest free trade areas in the world, the two reaffirmed their commitment to the target set by members of the negotiations that are already over three years old.
Motegi said he told Froman that the Japanese government has decided to “work toward concluding a TPP deal within this year constructively and proactively.”
“We made a commitment to work together,” he told reporters after the meeting.
Earlier this month, Japan and the United States held the first round of bilateral trade negotiations on autos and nontariff barriers in parallel with the TPP negotiations.
Motegi said he wants to “accelerate” the Japan-U.S. talks as well.
On Monday, Froman, who is visiting Japan for the first time as the U.S. trade representative, is scheduled to meet with other government members including TPP minister Akira Amari, who will attend a ministerial meeting at the upcoming Brunei round.
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