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US, Japan to work together to bridge gaps

Staff writer |
The US and Japan will continue to work together to bridge the remaining gaps between them in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks, said US Trade Representative Michael Froman.

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Mr. Froman said both countries discussed agriculture and car issues but gaps remained and the two countries would be working together to close them.

"I think Deputy USTR Wendy Cutler and her counterpart, Ambassador Hiroshi Oe (Japan's deputy chief negotiator) will continue to meet to work to try and bridge the remaining gaps in both directions," Froman told reporters.

The US and Japan had failed to come to an agreement concerning the five farm products which the latter wanted exempted from tariff elimination, including rice, wheat and beef. But the US wanted otherwise and hoped Tokyo would allow tariff cuts on some of these five items.

Trade Ministers and officials from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, the US, Vietnam and Singapore convene for a four-day trade talks which started on Saturday.

Malaysia is represented by Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

The TPP is envisioned as a high-quality and comprehensive trade agreement that will go beyond tariff elimination and other traditional trade issues to address emerging challenges faced by modern businesses.

The TPP also serves as a possible pathway to a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific.

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