TPP Talks to Reassume With Early Conclusion in Sight

Chief negotiators from 12 countries involved in a Pacific free trade initiative resumed negotiations Sunday in Washington, after their leaders last month reaffirmed their commitment to concluding an agreement as soon as possible.

The six-day working-level meeting follows a summit of the Trans-Pacific Partnership countries held on Nov. 10 in Beijing, where U.S. President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and 10 other leaders instructed officials and ministers to make concluding a TPP deal “a top priority.”

The United States, which leads the free trade scheme, seeks to reach a broad agreement in early 2015 before it enters campaign mode toward the presidential election in 2016, according to negotiation sources. But the outlook for the prolonged talks remains uncertain.

Koji Tsuruoka, Japan’s top negotiator for the TPP, told reporters Sunday at a hotel in the U.S. capital that this week’s negotiation is “a very important round” that could decide the fate of the TPP.

If TPP officials fail to see a broad direction toward the conclusion this week the whole negotiation could reach the brink of collapse, Tsuruoka suggested.

The TPP countries are expected to discuss outstanding issues such as intellectual property and reform of state-owned firms to establish fair business competition — areas where developed and emerging economies have been at odds.

Trade officials from Japan and the United States, the largest economies in the initiative, plan to hold bilateral talks on thorny issues such as Japan’s proposed exceptional tariffs on some agricultural produce.

via Mainichi

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza