US-Japan Meetings To Take Place Before All TPP Talks

Japan’s minister in charge of Pacific trade talks said Tuesday he needs to meet with his U.S. counterpart before an expected late May gathering of ministers from the 12 countries involved in the regional initiative.

Akira Amari, the minister in charge of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, told reporters in Tokyo that Japan and the United States “must have a chance to solve the remaining issues” between the two countries ahead of the envisioned entire TPP session, which will likely be held in Singapore around May 20.

Despite marathon talks involving Amari and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman during U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan last week, the two countries were unable to secure a broad deal, only saying in a joint statement that they have “identified a path forward” on bilateral issues.

Prior to the Singapore ministerial meeting, senior trade officials of the 12 TPP countries are expected to meet in Ho Chi Minh City from May 12 to 15, according to negotiation sources.

Amari said a TPP ministerial meeting will be set if the senior officials can resolve their concerns and find a path toward a broad agreement.

The TPP negotiations involve Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.

Trade observers say little progress is expected in the Singapore meeting unless Tokyo and Washington — which together account for some 80 percent of combined gross domestic product in the TPP — move much closer. The issue of market access for agricultural products and autos remains the biggest sticking points in bilateral talks.

via Mainichi

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza