Obama, Abe under pressure to salvage signature Pacific trade pact

April 22nd, 2014  
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Topic: Obama, Abe under pressure to salvage signature Pacific trade pact

By Krista Hughes and Linda Sieg WASHINGTON/TOKYO (Reuters) - A meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week in Tokyo may not seal one of the world's biggest trade pacts, but it could give it a much-needed boost. A central element of Obama's strategic shift towards Asia, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would connect a dozen Asia-Pacific economies by eliminating trade barriers and harmonizing regulations in a pact covering two-fifths of the world economy and a third of all global trade. After four years of talks and missed deadlines, negotiators from several TPP countries say they hope Thursday's summit will lay the groundwork for tough concessions, including a possible easing in Japan's protectionist stance on beef, sugar, dairy and wheat a step that could breathe into the struggling TPP. "Hopefully this will provide some clarity about the level of ambition we can expect in a hopefully successful TPP," New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser said.


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