WASHINGTON – The tentative agreement on trade negotiated by a dozen Pacific Rim nations will slightly pry open Japan’s famously closed rice market, protect brand-name drugs from generic competitors for at least five years and lower tariffs on automobiles.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, as the pact is known, will rewrite the rules of commerce among 12 nations that collectively produce an estimated 40 percent of the world’s economic output. It still faces hurdles, such as a vote in the U.S. Congress, but if ratified would have a far-reaching impact on goods and services.
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