Trade ministers from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries December 10th announced that they cannot meet the goal set by their leaders of concluding the negotiations by the end of this year, but said they had made "substantial progress" in four days of meetings held in Singapore. The ministers also announced that they would press ahead next year and planned to meet again in January.
Several observers said the likely reason why the talks failed to yield a final deal or even a partial agreement is that the U.S. did not make offers on its most import-sensitive products, namely sugar, dairy, apparel and footwear.
The TPP is an expanded version of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP), a trade agreement created in 2005 among the countries of Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore aimed at liberalizing the economies of the participating countries. It proposes to add the countries of Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States and Viet Nam to the original TPSEP member list. The agreement is intended to be a “high standard” agreement aimed at emerging trade issues in the 21st Century.
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