Japan and the United States on Monday began a second round of bilateral talks on autos and trade barriers in parallel with Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, with Tokyo calling for “maximum flexibility” in the discussions.
During the two-day talks in Tokyo preceding a series of TPP meetings of the 12 member states starting Tuesday in Bali, Indonesia, the two sides are expected to discuss issues including automobiles and nontariff barriers in nine areas including insurance, intellectual property and investment.
Representing Japan, Takeo Mori, ambassador for economic diplomacy, said at the outset of the meeting that he wants U.S. officials to show “utmost and maximum flexibility.”
Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler, who heads the U.S. delegation, said that the bilateral negotiations are of “key importance” to her government and that she expects “to achieve strong outcomes” from the talks.
Agreements to be reached in the bilateral talks related to the automotive sector will be reflected in the TPP negotiations, while those regarding nontariff measures will be implemented by each country.
The TPP countries including Japan and the United States are planning to reach a basic agreement at a summit slated for Oct. 8 in Bali, which will pave the way for the conclusion of a TPP deal by the end of the year.
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