This week all eyes are on the city of Atlanta to see whether Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries can reach a deal, after taking a leap of faith to convene a ministerial even after failing to bridge differences on the crucial issue of automobile rules of origin.
[ September 28, 2015 | Inside U.S. Trade ]
TPP negotiators started a round of talks led by chiefs on Saturday (Sept. 26), although some of the officials working on the legal scrub appeared to have arrived even earlier. The ministerial starts this Wednesday (Sept. 30) and is slated to conclude Thursday, but could get pushed into Friday if ministers decide it’s necessary.
Japan’s chief negotiator over the weekend left no question that Tokyo wants this to be the final round of talks, even while U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman in a closed-door briefing with House Ways & Means Committee staff stuck to his time-honored vow that the substance will drive the timetable.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser’s office has said he may not even attend the round if he does not judge that enough progress has been made on the issue of dairy market access.
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