TPP members aware of need to reach broad agreement by year-end

Kyodo

The minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations says the 12 countries involved are aware they need to reach an agreement on the proposed trade deal by the end of the year.

“We share the recognition that we will face a long-term risk if we fail to reach a broad agreement” for creating a massive free trade area bordering the Pacific, Amari told reporters Sunday in Nagoya.

The 12 TPP countries initially sought to strike a deal by the end of 2013 but missed that deadline due mainly to Japan-U.S. bickering. Amari said the member countries will set a schedule for future talks after their chief negotiators gather in July.

Ministers of the 12 countries held a meeting in Singapore last week but fell short of setting a clear timeline to end their long-running negotiations.

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