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US: Japan market access critical for trade pact

February 18, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. says it has yet to resolve differences with Japan over autos and other market access issues that are key hurdles to finalizing a trans-Pacific trade pact.

The U.S. and Japan are the two largest of the 12 economies negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is key to the Obama administration’s effort to boost trade with fast-growing Asian economies.

Trade Representative Michael Froman, who met with Japan’s Economy Minister Akira Amari in Washington at the weekend, said the two sides are making progress but “are not there yet.”

Froman told a Washington think tank Tuesday that a “robust outcome” to address historical barriers to access to Japan’s auto market is “absolutely critical if we are going to complete TPP with Japan.”

TPP trade ministers will meet in Singapore this week.

Update hourly