Japan’s minister in charge of a 12-country Pacific Rim free trade initiative said Tuesday one possible option is to reach a broad agreement without some members that are unwilling to end negotiations at the next ministerial meeting later this month in Hawaii.
Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari did not name the countries he thinks could be excluded from a Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, but Canada and New Zealand are said to be lagging behind in their negotiations with other members.
“If there are countries that are…not willing to reach an agreement at the Hawaii meeting, we can’t afford to let the TPP go adrift for their sake,” Amari told a press conference.
“It is an option for those countries to join (the TPP) later,” Amari said.
Negotiation sources said Canada remains reluctant to open up its poultry and dairy markets to foreign competition under the free trade initiative that would cover around 40 percent of global gross domestic product, while New Zealand has called for further liberalization of dairy products.
Amari said the four-day ministerial session starting from July 28 “needs to be the last ministerial meeting.”
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