U.S. eyes transpacific trade deal by November APEC

WASHINGTON Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:50pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States wants to "substantially complete" negotiations on a free trade agreement with eight other countries in the Asia Pacific region by the time President Barack Obama hosts a regional summit in November, the top U.S. trade official said on Friday.

The United States sees completion of the pact as key to increasing U.S. exports in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in a speech to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

"We've had five rounds already. We are moving at an extraordinarily fast pace because our goal is to see if we can't be substantially complete by the time President Obama hosts" the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meeting in Hawaii, Kirk said.

The United States is negotiating the agreement with Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore, Peru and Brunei.

The goal is to produce the "most broadly liberalizing trade agreement with the strongest labor, environment, intellectual property rights provisions of any trade agreement that's been negotiated," Kirk said.

(Reporting by Doug Palmer; editing by Will Dunham)

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Comments (3)
Freedomring wrote:
Great opportunity to increase the balance of trade deficit. Lets put more nails in the coffin.

Jan 21, 2011 2:26pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Sinbad1 wrote:
The US and Australia negotiated a so called free trade agreement in 2005 it is really a huge list of things that are seriously regulated, I noticed Australia cannot export garlic powder to the US in the list?. It took years to negotiate and didn’t seem to achieve much for either side.
Now the US wants to do it again, I guess it will keep some bureaucrats in Washington and Canberra busy. I wonder if they will call it FTA 2, The Empire Strikes Back.

Jan 22, 2011 4:12am EST  --  Report as abuse
Sinbad1 wrote:
Australia has been trying to negotiate a FTA with China for 5 years.
Without any agreement they buy 45 billion a year of us and we get 35 billion of stuff off them. Why bother with an agreement.

Jan 22, 2011 4:30am EST  --  Report as abuse
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