TPP chief negotiators meet to hash out deal with or without U.S.
Japan Times -- Jul 12
Chief negotiators from the 11 Trans-Pacific Partnership countries met Wednesday in the hot-spring resort town of Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture, to discuss how to breathe fresh life into the massive free trade deal after the U.S. withdrew.

Kazuyoshi Umemoto, the chair of the meeting, said at the outset of the gathering that he is determined to discuss “possible options for the early entry into force of the TPP” before their leaders gather in November for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vietnam.

“Time is not so abundant, so we very much hope we can achieve as much as possible in this meeting,” Umemoto said.

Currently, the TPP pact can come into force only after at least six countries that account for 85 percent or more of the original 12 signatories’ combined gross domestic product complete domestic procedures.

Since the United States alone represented more than 60 percent of the initial members’ GDP, doing so under the present terms is impossible.

Japan, the largest economy among the 11 members, hopes to reach an agreement to alter those requirements without looking again at the content of the pact after years of negotiations before it was finally inked in February 2016.

But some countries may call for fresh negotiations on the content, including on tariffs.

Vietnam and Malaysia, which agreed to ease domestic regulations and open their markets in return for access to the huge U.S. market, are believed to be reluctant to go ahead with the deal without the United States.

アメリカを除く11カ国でのTPP(環太平洋経済連携協定)発効に向け、事務方トップの首席交渉官会合が12日午後から箱根で始まります。 今回の会合では、すでに12カ国で合意した関税や貿易ルールなどの分野でどこまで修正するのかどうかが最大の焦点となります。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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