WASHINGTON – Japan will resume talks with the United States in Tokyo on Monday in a bid to bridge hurdles blocking the signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, including tariffs on agricultural products. The talks will follow three days of negotiations in Washington through Wednesday that failed to produce an agreement, a Japanese official said.
The two sides need to “take advantage of political momentum” before President Barack Obama’s visit to Japan later this month, negotiator Takeo Mori told reporters.
Mori, ambassador for economic diplomacy, made the remark after the two allies failed to achieve significant progress on nontariff barriers to the Japanese auto market in working-level talks with acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler.
“I don’t think we made a breakthrough,” Mori said of the most recent negotiations. “We have some issues that are very difficult to settle and others we can deal with. There is a difference in the levels of difficulty. Under the circumstance, difficult issues have been gradually crystallized.”
The talks between Mori and Cutler were originally planned to wrap up Tuesday but were extended by one day. The U.S. is demanding that Japan open up its auto market by easing nontariff barriers such as regulations.
Cutler will hold talks with Hiroshi Oe, Japan’s deputy chief TPP negotiator, and with Mori in Tokyo, and the negotiations will be open-ended, Mori said.
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