PTT Meeting Wraps Up Staging Final Round of Negotiations

Officials from 12 Pacific Rim countries wrapped up their four days of talks Monday for a Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, setting the stage for what many hope will be the final round of negotiations for realizing the most ambitious trade deal in decades.

Japanese Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Akira Amari said significant progress was made as a result of “tough” bargaining among chief negotiators in the run-up to a crucial four-day ministerial session starting Tuesday on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

“I have an impression that there has been substantial progress,” Amari told reporters after arriving in Hawaii.

The minister reiterated that he hopes this round of talks will be the last, and said that he believes “each nation shares the same thoughts.”

Although Washington, which leads the initiative, is putting pressure on other TPP members to finalize a deal, some negotiation sources are skeptical about whether the ministers will be able to agree on details in Hawaii given huge remaining gaps over difficult problems.

Such problems include liberalization of protected industries, the length of patents for new medicines, and reform of state-owned companies heavily protected in some economies.

Japan’s Amari admitted that the negotiations on intellectual property have been extremely difficult during the chief negotiators’ meeting.

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