The U.S. and Japan should reach a compromise in bilateral trade negotiations to help conclude a trans-Pacific free trade pact by year’s end, a senior Japanese official said Tuesday.
Hiroyuki Ishige, who is chairman of the Japan External Trade Organization, told a Washington think tank that political leaders of both sides need to make bold decisions and recognize the strategic importance of finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.
His comments come as the U.S. continues negotiations with Japan in Washington this week on opening up its auto market. Japan is also under pressure to open up its heavily protected agricultural sector.
Ishige said the top trade officials have already spent 60 hours in talks and can find common ground.
“Each knows his counterpart’s red line. It’s time for them to show the political urge for compromise,” Ishige told the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “There is no perfect TPP.”