Japanese minister says Pacific trading partners closing in on trade deal

Outstanding dairy issues were between the United States and New Zealand, he said.


As trade ministers from around the world continued meeting in Atlanta on Thursday forfinal-stretch negotiations on the corporate-friendly Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), civil society groups demonstrated on the streets in a final salvo against a deal they describe as “a wholesale auction of our rights, our freedoms, and our democracy to multinational corporations who put profits over people”.

“No one wants to leave without an agreement”, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said.

The agreement would likely allow significantly more auto parts from cheaper foreign suppliers than under the North American Free Trade Agreement, but would be more multi-layered than the old NAFTA standard.

However, TPP opponents are quick to point out (pdf) that even if a deal is reached this week, Congress will not debate and vote on it until late winter because, as per the Fast Track legislation passed earlier this year, President Barack Obama can not sign the deal without giving lawmakers 90 days’ notice. The hearing is taking place in the High Court in Wellington before Justice David Collins.

“In New Zealand’s case, the dead rat seems to be a dairy for medicines deal”. “Clark’s statement suggests she had become too far removed from the realities and opinions of ordinary New Zealanders”.

But he said talks were ongoing and he wouldn’t confirm details but would only agree to a deal that ensures the long-term viability of Canada’s auto sector.

“The New Zealand economy’s not all dairy… while we don’t get everything we want in dairy we don’t give everything that would be required, so like with every negotiation it is literally that, a negotiation”.

“There’s going to be quite a lot of sectors that come out and say this is the best thing since sliced bread”.

Amari said talks on auto trade involving Japan, Canada, the United States and Mexico had made major progress and were “one step away from completion”.


“Unfortunately, the conclusion of negotiations in Atlanta has been delayed by a handful of interests who stand to greatly benefit from TPP, but have decided instead to continue milking the system with their subsidies and protectionist measures, rather than embrace the twenty-first century principles envisioned by TPP negotiators and supporters”. And they said warned that a proposed exception for tobacco would establish “a risky new precedent” in global trade and risk passage of the agreement.

												Japan's Trade Minister Akira Amari meets the press on Oct. 2 in Atlanta U.S