The United States and other Indo-Pacific countries participating in its Indo-Pacific Economic Framework were on Monday unable to strike a substantial trade deal during ministerial talks, despite their common goal of promoting a rules-based commercial order in the region, where China is growing in influence.

Following the first day of the meeting for the U.S.-led initiative in San Francisco, Japanese trade minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said progress was made on some aspects but "no substantial agreement was reached" for the whole trade area.

"Unfortunately, there were big differences in position," Nishimura told reporters, while stressing that he still thinks they achieved meaningful progress in areas such as paperless trade procedures just a year after entering negotiations.