A new round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will begin today in Chiba prefecture. Led by Japan, the pact’s
A new round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will begin today in Chiba prefecture. Led by Japan, the pact’s 11 Pacific Rim countries are attempting to salvage the agreement after the US withdrew in January.
The talks are expected to focus on some 50 provisions that Washington requested. For one, Vietnam wishes to lift restrictions on fabric production it accepted for access to the US market. But, Japan wants some provisions kept to entice a future American return to the pact.
But American withdrawal will not be the only issue. New Zealand is expected to advocate banning foreign property speculation; annual house price growth in the Pacific nation sits above 10%—the second-highest in the OECD. Wellington has said it won’t withdraw from the agreement.
Japan hopes to lead the remaining TPP nations into signing an agreement by next month’s APEC leaders summit in Vietnam. Combined with a pact with the EU, Tokyo could earn recognition as a champion of free trade if it pulls off the TPP’s comeback—though many competing interests make that no sure thing.
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