Saturday, May 23, 2015Saturday, May 23, 2015

NZ suggests cutting Japan out of Pacific trade talks

Published on Jun 20, 2014 7:17 AM
New Zealand's Prime minister John Key addresses members of the Chamber of Commerce on June 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said on Thursday

Japan should be cut out of Pacific trade talks if it will not open its markets to more farm imports, and he urged the Obama administration to hold firm.

Japan has been reluctant to open up agricultural markets such as pork, beef, rice and dairy, and US trade negotiators seem willing to allow the country to keep some protection for sensitive products, upsetting US farmers.

Key, who is visiting Washington, said it was essential to keep a high standard for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would connect a dozen economies by cutting trade barriers and harmonizing standards in a deal covering two-fifths of the world economy and a third of global trade.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!