Above: Protest at US Embassy in Manila at start of Obama’s Asia-Pacific tour, Southern Tagalog Exposure. There were also protests in the other countries Obama visited against the TPP as well as the Asia Pivot.
Japan says talks with US on Pacific trade pact halted for now with no resolution in sight
TPP Sales Trip in Japan: #Fail
When President Obama departed on his long-delayed trip to Asia this week the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was widely perceived as on life support. TPP supporters, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, confidently raised expectations that the trip would provide a breakthrough in negotiations. But, as the President’s visit to Japan draws to a close, it is clear that the sales trip has failed.
In this case even giving up everything you want and getting nothing back in return wasn’t enough as U.S. negotiators made clear before the trip that they were desperate to report progress of some kind, going so far as to allowing Japan to retain tariffs on rice and wheat while agreeing to cut U.S. tariffs on 99.5 percent of goods imported from Japan.
The only progress made with TPP, like with the fast-track trade promotion authority needed to ram the controversial trade deal through Congress, is in building opposition to it ever being passed.
- The Associated Press - Akira Amari, the top Japanese negotiator for the TPP talks, said Thursday evening that the talks with chief U.S. trade negotiator Michael Froman “have stopped for now” and were not expected to resume “straight away,” meaning there will be no breakthrough on the agreement during Obama’s visit.
- The Washington Post – But one thing is missing from the president’s otherwise exciting itinerary: making news. The one hope for a breakthrough on the trip — an announcement of a trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership — fell through.
- The Japan News - Amari and Froman had been engaged in final-stage talks for about eight hours from late Wednesday night into early Thursday, aiming to narrow gaps ahead of the Abe-Obama talks Thursday morning—but to little avail.
- The Japan Times - But Abe failed to achieve the other goal, namely a broad agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks. This was also a setback for Obama, who lobbied hard to seal the free trade deal. The two were thus unable to issue a joint statement after their talks.
- Quartz - The Pacific free trade pact’s problems won’t be solved by a sushi dinner in Japan.
For detailed information on the broken promises of trade legislation, click here.