GLOBAL - Twelve country officials involved in the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations plan to meet in Ottawa from July 3 to 12 to iron out outstanding issues like tariffs and intellectual property rights.
The 12 countries, including Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the U.S. and Vietnam, initially sought to meet in Vancouver, but the venue has been changed, reports The Japan Times.
Last week, US President Barack Obama said Washington hopes an agreement on the initiative — which would create one of the world’s largest free trade zones — will be reached in time for his trip to Asia in November.
Akira Amari, the minister who is heading the talks for Japan, has said that whether a ministerial meeting takes place depends on how much progress the chief negotiators can make at their upcoming meeting.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the ministers met in Singapore last month as the U.S. and Japan pushed to reinvigorate a process stalled by their bilateral differences, particularly in the contentious areas of access to the agriculture and automobile markets.
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