No deal at next TPPA talks is expected, according to a Japanese Minister, which is to extend negotiations for years
The Japanese minister in charge of negotiations for a Pacific Rim free trade initiative (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, TPPA) said that talks on the free trade deal will not be concluded anytime soon if the 12 member countries fail to strike an accord at an upcoming meeting starting late September.
Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Mr. Akira Amari said at a press conference:
There is a risk that an agreement will be put off for years if no deal is reached at the next session.
A two-day meeting of ministers from the United States, Japan, Canada and nine other nations negotiating the TPPA is scheduled for September 30. Negotiating countries seek to conclude years of talks on creating one of the world’s biggest free trade zones.
The TPPA would have a significant impact on the global economy, as the free trade zone would cover 40% of worldwide output.
The Japanese minister pointed to the general elections in Canada to be held October 19, 2015. Canada could change its trade policy under a new government following the election. This and other factors could derail efforts by the TPPA negotiation countries to reach a deal as early as possible.
A TPPA meeting ahead of the election will be “a last chance” to discuss remaining issues with the current representatives from the 12 countries also including Australia, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore. The negotiations still need to overcome several other obstacles. Many countries find it hard to concede on outstanding issues, he added.
Vietnam, Malaysia and Mexico are also among the countries taking part in the trade talks that began in 2010. The 12 countries failed to reach a broad agreement on the trade initiative during their previous ministerial talks in late July in Hawaii.