US trade official says to seek TPP deal by year-end

NUSA DUA, Indonesia (REUTERS) - World trade ministers may discuss a US-led trade pact on the sidelines of a December World Trade Organisation meeting with a goal of reaching a deal by year-end, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Tuesday.

Issues in the US-proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that trade ministers remained focused on include intellectual property, state-owned enterprises, labour and the environment, Mr Froman told reporters on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit on the Indonesian island of Bali.

The TPP, by seeking unprecedented access to domestic markets, is proving highly sensitive in developing countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam, whose political systems could be shaken by intrusions in areas such as government procurement and state-owned enterprises.

The December WTO meeting will also take place on Bali.