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Obama, Abe under pressure to salvage signature Pacific trade pact

Published on Apr 23, 2014 12:16 PM
 
US Trade Representative Michael Froman (centre) speaks to media members after meetings with Japan's Economics Minister Akira Amari (not in picture) in Tokyo April 10, 2014. Froman arrived in Japan earlier than expected on Wednesday, Japanese media said, for a last ditch push for a two-way deal seen as crucial to efforts to create one of the world's biggest trade pacts. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United States Trade Representative Michael Froman arrived in Japan earlier than expected on Wednesday, Japanese media said, for a last ditch push for a two-way deal seen as crucial to efforts to create one of the world's biggest trade pacts.

Froman, who had been expected to arrive in Tokyo with US President Barack Obama later in the day, was likely to meet Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari, the reports said.

Talks have been snagged largely on Japan's insistence on protecting politically powerful farm sectors such as beef. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament the talks were tough but Japan was trying to keep some tariffs.

Officials have played down the chances of a deal in time for Thursday's summit between Obama and Abe, but some experts said an 11th hour agreement could not be ruled out.

 
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