U.S. trade chief Michael Froman urged Japan on Thursday to make more concessions over thorny bilateral issues to break the current deadlock in a 12-country Pacific free trade initiative.
Froman, the U.S. trade representative, said he looks forward to “bold visions at the negotiating table” on the issues of market access in agricultural produce and autos under the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.
Froman made the remark after he and Akira Amari, Japan’s TPP minister, failed to make progress in their talks on the U.S.-led trade pact in late September in the U.S. capital due mainly to wide gaps over the issues.
The TPP is a “key part” of the structural reforms that make up what Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe calls the Third Arrow of his measures aimed at propping up the Japanese economy, along with aggressive monetary easing and massive fiscal spending, Froman said in a speech in Washington.
The U.S. team handling the TPP is “very fortunate” to have Amari as their counterpart as the TPP negotiator because he is also responsible for the overall economic reform effort in Japan, Froman said.
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