Six days of intensive meetings made substantial progress on reaching an Asia-Pacific agreement according to top negotiators for the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership nations. The goal is still to wrap up a deal by the end of the year – though U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman recently said he’s not willing to sacrifice the quality of the trade deal in order to meet the deadline. But according to a statement from the Office of the USTR – several outstanding issues – including market access, sanitary and phytosanitary issues and technical barriers to trade – were resolved over the weekend in Salt Lake City.
The USTR said that means the chief negotiators have significantly narrowed the number of issues to be addressed directly by the TPP ministers at meetings in Singapore December 7th through the 10th. Even with the progress – lawmakers on Capitol Hill may still stand in the way of a deal. Some want to see currency manipulation provisions included in the trade deal – but the issue hasn’t been part of the talks.
Source: NAFB News service