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Japan, US trade talks fail to close gap over TPP

Japanese State Minister in charge of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is surrounded by reporters after he met with US trade representative Michael Froman in Tokyo on April 10, 2014Intensive talks between Japan and the United States aimed at breaking the deadlock over a huge pan-Pacific trade deal ended Thursday without agreement, as hopes faded of progress before Barack Obama arrives in Tokyo this month. US Trade Representative Michael Froman and his Japanese counterpart Akira Amari said 18 hours of discussions had done little to reduce the “distance” between them, especially on farm and auto products. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an ambitious plan for a free trade agreement among 12 countries which, if realised, could cover 40 percent of global GDP. It is a key plank in President Obama’s foreign policy, and an effort to anchor the US firmly to a region that is increasingly feeling the pull of Beijing’s mighty economy.

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