U.S., Japan agree on approach to Trans-Pacific Partnership talks

WASHINGTON Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:48pm EST

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a point next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington February 22, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a point next to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington February 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Japan agreed language on Friday that could set the stage for Tokyo to join negotiations soon on a U.S.-led regional free trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

In a carefully worded statement following a meeting between President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the two countries reaffirmed that "all goods would subject to negotiations if Japan joins the talks with the United States and ten other countries.

At the same time, the statement envisions a possible outcome where the United States could maintain tariffs on Japanese automobiles and Japan could still protect its rice sector.

"Recognizing that both countries have bilateral trade sensitivities, such as certain agricultural products for Japan and certain manufactured products for the United States, the two governments confirm that, as the final outcome will be determined during the negotiations, it is not required to make a prior commitment to unilaterally eliminate all tariffs upon joining the TPP negotiations," the statement said.

(Reporting By Mark Felsenthal and Doug Palmer; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
boonteetan wrote:
New Abe’s first official overseas visit is to the White House now, soon new Xi Jinping’s first will be in Kremlin.
On the surface, Abe wants to intensify the economic collaboration between Tokyo and Washington, in fact he wants greater US military involvement in East Asia and US aid in beefing up Japan’s defense (perhaps send more armed drones). (ttm1943)

Feb 23, 2013 10:17pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.