Japanese and U.S. officials will meet from Wednesday in a bid to strike a two-way deal that would give momentum to a pan-Pacific free-trade pact, the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), in time for a leaders' summit late this month. Success, however, depends heavily on whether the U.S. Congress, which returns from recess this week, will approve measures to ease passage of trade deals, or trade promotion authority (TPA), Japanese officials have said. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet U.S. President Barack Obama on April 28 at a summit in Washington that is also expected to focus on security issues. Japan said U.S. Acting Deputy Trade Representative Wendy Cutler and U.S.T.R. Chief Agriculture negotiator Darci Vetter would travel to Tokyo for talks with Japan's deputy chief trade negotiator, Hiroshi Oe, and economic ambassador Takeo Mori. Discussions are expected to focus on remaining gaps over agriculture and the auto industry. Japan wants to protect farm products such as rice, wheat, sugar, diary products, beef and pork, while the United States argues Japan has non-tariff barriers in its auto sector.
About the author
Research Associate at Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University