Pacific Rim countries pursuing a free trade initiative are set to hold ministerial talks on July 28 and 29 in Hawaii to wind up their marathon negotiations, a source said Monday.
The United States, Japan and 10 other countries came up with the plan as hopes for an early signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have been growing since U.S. President Barack Obama signed a bill into law last week that grants him power to put to a vote trade deals with limited interference by lawmakers.
The talks among ministerial-level officials from the 12 countries will follow “several days of meetings there between chief negotiators” for the TPP, according to a report by the Inside U.S. Trade magazine.
It remains uncertain whether the negotiation will conclude through the planned ministerial meeting, the report said, noting that the talks will take place even if the chief negotiators fail to make progress.
The ministers involved in TPP negotiations last met in November on the sidelines of an international conference in Beijing.