Trade ministers from a dozen Pacific nations meeting in Atlanta extended talks on a sweeping trade deal until Saturday in a bid to get a final agreement on the most ambitious trade pact in a generation.
Officials extended talks originally scheduled to wrap up on Thursday in a determined effort to produce a breakthrough on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would liberalize trade in 40 percent of the world economy for a region stretching from Vietnam to Canada.
“No-one wants to leave without an agreement,” Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told Reuters after a second plenary session of top officials from all 12 nations. “The good news is that we will not leave here without one.”
Observers pointed to progress on autos, Canada’s pledge to compensate farmers hurt by imports and signs of a possible compromise on patent protection for new drugs as evidence of advancement.
“We are starting to see the path to an agreement and have agreed to make final efforts,” Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari told reporters, although conditions were still difficult.