Japan, US tiptoe into new phase of Pacific trade talks
Published on Apr 26, 2014 10:05 AM
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The United States and Japan are edging into a new phase of trade negotiations after US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's summit, said people with knowledge of talks to create one of the world's biggest trade pacts.
Talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation bloc which would span 40 per cent of the world economy and extend from Asia to Latin America, have been deadlocked as the United States and Japan stared off over farm and auto exports.
Although Mr Obama and Mr Abe did not announce an end to the stalemate at Thursday's meeting in Tokyo, a joint statement issued shortly before Mr Obama left on Friday said the two countries identified a "path forward" on key issues, a contrast to the "gaps" highlighted after previous talks.
Briefing reporters on the president's plane from Japan, a senior USofficial said negotiators set the parametres for agreement on Japan's sensitive sugar, beef, pork, rice, dairy and wheat sectors, involving which trade barriers to eliminate, which to reduce, and over which time period.
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