Ja­pan anx­ious at lull, US 'giv­ing up', in pan-Pa­cific trade talks

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

TOKYO: Ja­pan has ex­pressed con­cern about a loss of mo­men­tum in talks on a pan-Pa­cific trade pact af­ter par­tic­i­pants failed to agree to meet again this month to try to clinch a deal that would cover 40 per cent of the global econ­omy. Min­is­ters from the 12 na­tions ne­go­ti­at­ing the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP), which would stretch from Ja­pan to Chile, fell short of a deal at talks last month on the Hawai­ian is­land of Maui, de­spite early op­ti­mism. Ja­panese Econ­omy Min­is­ter Akira Amari, in a blog cir­cu­lated on Tues­day, also ques­tioned why the United States ap­peared to have lacked its usual "stub­born per­sis­tence" at those talks, de­spite a will­ing­ness of some coun­tries to stay to try to reach an agree­ment.

"The rea­son I stressed ... that we should meet again this month was be­cause each coun­try might lose in­ter­est and (the talks) would go adrift," Amari wrote. "If they lose in­ter­est, it would take con­sid­er­able time and ef­fort to get mo­ti­va­tion back to the orig­i­nal level, be­cause the key to suc­cess is whether each coun­try can main­tain mo­men­tum to­wards an agree­ment." Amari said that the United States was vague about a con­crete time frame and it ap­peared its ne­go­tia­tors needed a break. Amari re­it­er­ated that a dis­pute over in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty pro­tec­tion for data used to de­velop biologic drugs, which Washington in­sists should be 12 years, and gaps over ac­cess to mem­ber coun­tries' dairy mar­kets - a key is­sue for New Zealand - were ma­jor stick­ing points.

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