Negotiations for an ambitious trade pact among Pacific countries made significant progress over the weekend but there is still a gap between Japan and the U.S. over market access and other hurdles, trade representatives say.
U.S. business and agriculture groups have urged Pacific trading partners not to exclude tobacco from investment protection rules in a new free trade deal under negotiation, warning it would set a bad precedent.
U.S. farmers are in an uproar over signs Japan will maintain some barriers to agricultural exports under a Pacific trade pact, which threatens to unravel a deal that is central to U.S. efforts to retain economic and security influence in the region.
U.S. President Barack Obama wrapped up a state visit to Japan on Friday during which he assured America’s ally that Washington would come to its defense, but failed to clinch a trade deal key to both his “pivot” to Asia and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic reforms.
Linda Sieg and Matt Spetalnick
April 25, 2014
U.S. President Barack Obama assured ally Japan on Thursday that Washington is committed to its defense, including of tiny isles at the heart of a row with China, but denied he had drawn any new “red line” and urged peaceful dialogue over the islands.
Mark Felsenthal and Linda Sieg
April 24, 2014
Ministers in 12-nation Trans-Pacific trade talks said on Tuesday they had yet to reach agreement on tariffs and other market access issues, with the timing of a completed deal looking increasingly unclear.
Rachel Armstrong and Masayuki Kitano
February 25, 2014
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