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Obama says he hopes for Pacific trade pact in November

Published on Jun 21, 2014 7:54 AM
US President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq in the briefing room of the White House in Washington on June 19, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Pacific trading partners hope to have a free trade agreement ready to present to the public and stakeholders in November, US President Barack Obama said on Friday.

He said the aim was to have a document to discuss with other leaders of Trans-Pacific Partnership nations when he travels to Asia in November, a trip that will include the Group of 20 leaders meeting in Australia on November 15-16. Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders also meet that month.

The United States holds mid-term elections on Nov 4, and many trade experts had despaired of finalising the TPP this year because of the risk that it could cost Obama's Democrats votes at the poll, given the party's links to trade unions worried about the impact of trade agreements on jobs.

Obama said he discussed a timeline to complete the deal this year with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, whose country is one of 11 others in the pact covering two-fifths of the world economy and a third of global trade.

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