Ministers in the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks fell short of setting a clear timeline for ending their long-running negotiations as they wrapped up their two-day meeting Tuesday in Singapore, although they stressed that progress has been made on tariff issues.
“We cemented our shared views on what is needed to bring negotiations to a close,” the ministers said in a joint statement issued following the meeting, but it was unclear what outcome was yielded during their gathering.
The ministers did decide that the chief negotiators from the member countries will meet in July to further accelerate talks but they did not clarify where the meeting will be held.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said at a joint press conference that the ministers felt a “positive sense of momentum,” and that progress recently made by Japan and the United States on bilateral issues allowed TPP member countries to “enter a new phase of negotiations.”
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