TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Trade Minister Akira Amari said he and his U.S. counterpart made no progress in bilateral talks that are key to an ambitious multilateral trade deal.
“Japan made a flexible proposal, but we weren’t able to make further progress,” Amari told reporters on Wednesday evening in Washington. “Further negotiations are undecided.”
Amari met with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, who last week urged Tokyo to ramp up efforts to break the standoff between the two biggest economies in the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The bilateral talks have foundered over access to farm and auto markets, boding ill for the TPP talks, which aim at a broad agreement by year-end to open up trade around the Pacific.
Writing by William Mallard in Tokyo, editing by G Crosse