Japan and the United States will resume bilateral talks Wednesday in Washington on auto trade issues under the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade initiative, the Foreign Ministry said.
The negotiations, to continue through Friday, will follow a ministerial meeting of all 12 TPP countries in late July in Hawaii, where they failed to secure a much-anticipated broad agreement.
Japan is also expected to hold working-level talks with Canada and Mexico in Washington. There likewise could be multilateral sessions among the four countries, a Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday.
Akira Amari, the minister in charge of Japan’s TPP effort, has expressed hope that the next ministerial meeting will be held by the end of September, saying the talks may be halted if a deal cannot be reached before the general election in Canada slated for October.
Trade ministers from the 12 TPP nations — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam — last met on Maui for four days through July 31, but they fell short of striking an agreement due to differences over issues such as auto trade, intellectual property and liberalization of dairy products.