ATLANTA — On the first day of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) ministerial here, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman is set to hold bilateral meetings Wednesday (Sept. 30) with his counterparts from Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Vietnam and possibly Canada. He will also participate in a 2 p.m. plenary meeting where the four major TPP auto producing countries are expected to update other parties on their talks, according to a source close to the negotiations.
[Reposted from Inside US TRade | September 30, 2015]
This source also said the auto talks between the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Japan are “moving in a good direction,” backing the assessment by Japanese TPP minister Akira Amari on Tuesday (Sept. 30) that they had made substantial progress since the Maui ministerial meeting in July. The plenary meeting is slated to last one hour.
But another source said that while progress has been made, the talks had not yet advanced to the point where they are ready for ministerial engagement. When that point is reached, Amari is expected to discuss the auto issue in bilateral meetings with Canadian Minister for International Trade Ed Fast and Mexican Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo.
The likely issues on the agenda in the Froman meeting with Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb today are the terms of intellectual property protection for biologics drugs and Australia’s demands for more access to the U.S. sugar market. In a related development, 45 House members, two of which are on the Agriculture Committee and 11 who sit on Ways and Means, urged Froman to give TPP partners more access to the U.S. sugar market in a Sept. 29 letter.
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