US says trans-Pacific trade pact may exclude Japan

United States negotiators have told participants in Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations that the pact may initially exclude Japan.

As reported by AP and Reuters, The Yomiuri Shimbun said the claim that Japan may be excluded is likely to be a US negotiating tactic. The US and Japan disagree about Tokyo’s desire to retain tariffs on many farm products.

From the time it agreed to join free trade negotiations, Japan said it intended to continue to protect hundreds of these products.

US Trade Representative Michael Froman and Japan’s Minister of State for Economic Revitalization Akira Amari, met twice in Singapore to discuss the disagreement. However, they but failed to reach a consensus on certain issues.

As Bloomberg reports, Japanese negotiators were worried they may have to make unilateral concessions during the ministerial talks because the US had suggested to the other 11 nations represented that japan could be excluded.

However, Japanese officials are becoming confident they would not be the only country left out of an agreement. This is due to the fact that the United States and emerging economies have yet to make concessions in negotiations on how to set rules to eliminate regulations on foreign investment as well as on tariffs.

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