US and Japan Continue TPP Talks Ahead of Summit

Japan and the United States continued the second of two days of tough trade talks on Monday that could pave the way for a broader trans-Pacific agreement, although Tokyo shrugged off expectations of a bilateral deal in time for a summit next week.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking on an evening news program in Tokyo, said negotiators were engaged in “intense” talks but that the discussion had narrowed to a few, lingering items.

Abe likened the talks to mountain climbing, saying there was “one, tough stretch” to complete.

“We would like to redouble our efforts so that a deal can be reached,” he said.

Access to Japan’s rice market and the U.S. auto parts market remain obstacles to a bilateral deal between the two nations, which is vital to the success of a long-delayed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the meeting in Tokyo, Economy Minister Akira Amari said top-level negotiations with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, would be “very tough”, adding that bilateral talks would hit the “most critical stage”.

The world’s biggest and third-biggest economies account for some 80 percent of the economic output of the 12-member TPP.

via Reuters

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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