TPP negotiators propose long lists of revisions at Sydney summit: sources

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Japan Times | Aug 30, 2017

TPP negotiators propose long lists of revisions at Sydney summit: sources

SYDNEY – Some of the 11 signatory countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have put forward long lists of proposed revisions to the free trade pact, sources close to the talks have said.

These demands may become a stumbling block to efforts by the 11 countries to reach agreement on a revised TPP, following withdrawal from the pact by the United States in January.

During a meeting of chief TPP negotiators from the 11 countries, which began in Sydney on Monday, some have asked that all items included in the deal at the urging of the United States should be frozen or revised. Others insist that revisions should be limited to a minimum.

Demands for revisions apparently included not only trade rules, such as on intellectual property protection, but also tariff changes which could create conflicts of interest among the countries.

If revisions to tariffs or import quotas are accepted, discussions could spin out of control because of the number of stakeholders involved.

Sources suggest the countries need to narrow down the list of items for revisions while maintaining the levels of trade liberalization proposed under the current TPP in order to reach a board agreement at a meeting of their leaders in Vietnam in November.

“Very good progress was made,” Kazuhisa Shibuya, Japan’s chief domestic coordinator for the TPP, told reporters on Tuesday after the second day of meetings. Their talks are scheduled to end on Wednesday.

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source: Japan Times