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United States To Host Talks On Asia-Pacific Trade Deal; Calls Ministers From 12 Nations For The Next Round Of Ministerial Meeting Next Week In Atlanta

by Diana Tomale / Oct 07, 2015 12:23 AM EDT
President Obama with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Pete Marovich-Pool / Getty Images North America)

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced Thursday that the US will host the next round of ministerial meeting for the Asia-Pacific trade deal which is scheduled next week.

USTR adds that Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators will have gathered on Sept. 26 to 29, while 12 ministers from 12 nations will have resumed the negotiations on TPP from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1 in Atlanta, as reported by Xinhua Net Sept. 25. The 12 countries include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam 

"Trade Ministers and negotiators last met in July and have been making good progress toward resolving the limited number of outstanding issues," USTR stated through dispatch.

Reuters reported Sept. 24 that the TPP "seeks to cut trade barriers and set common standards for 40 percent of the world economy and will be a legacy-defining achievement for US President Barack Obama" after the officials failed to reach a final agreement on a TPP deal in August.

"We have made significant progress during the last week's meetings," said US Trade Representative Michael Froman, referring to the previous ministerial meeting for the TPP deal last August. "We have advanced towards the conclusion."

Australian Trade Minister Andrew Robb said, "The sad thing is, 98 percent is concluded."

He added that "the problem lay with the 'big four' economies of the United States, Canada, Japan and Mexico."

Meanwhile, Obama revealed last week that he is optimistic the Asia-Pacific trade deal will be completed this year.

"The trade ministers should be meeting again sometime in the next several weeks," Obama said during his speech among the members of the Business Roundtable in Washington. "They have the opportunity to close the deal."

"Most chapters have been completed at this point. I am confident that we can get it done, and I believe we can get it done this year."

Obama added, "We should not assume, though, that because the authority was done, that we automatically are going to be able to get TPP done."

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