April 5, 2014 / 6:52 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. trade representative to visit Japan for talks on access

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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman takes part in an onstage interview with Edward Luce of the Financial Times during The Atlantic Economy Summit in Washington March 18, 2014.Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman will travel to Japan on Monday for high-level talks in a bid to break a stalemate over market access for American farm groups and autos, his office said on Saturday.

Talks about a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade pact have been bogged down as the United States tried to persuade Japan to lower trade barriers.

Froman said on Thursday it was time for Japan "to step up to the plate" and open its markets, which will then pave the way for an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler had already been scheduled to visit Tokyo next week as bilateral talks have accelerated ahead of a visit to Japan later this month by President Barack Obama.

Reporting by Krista Hughes; Editing by Sandra Maler and Eric Walsh

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