Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari said on Friday it would be difficult to reach an agreement in two-way trade talks between Japan and the United States unless U.S. lawmakers fast-tracked trade promotion legislation.
The two countries have been working toward an agreement over access to agriculture and auto markets and a bilateral deal between them is considered key to a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal.
A delay in agreeing on the legislation in the United States to streamline the passage of trade deals, known as trade promotion authority (TPA), through Congress is blamed for pushing back the timetable on the TPP.
“Not only Japan but also other member nations share a view that TPA is an essential condition for the TPP agreement. I would like President Obama to make the utmost effort,” Amari told a news conference.
“It is very high hurdle to reach an agreement to Japan-the U.S. trade talks unless we see clarity on the prospect for TPA bill.”
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