[A2k] Kyodo News International: Tariff, intellectual property on agenda on 3rd day of TPP talks

Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Mon Feb 24 01:50:25 PST 2014

Kyodo News International February 24, 2014 3:30am
Tariff, intellectual property on agenda on 3rd day of TPP talks

Countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks will
tackle contentious issues including tariff removal and intellectual
property rights on the third day of a ministerial conference Monday in

On the margin of a plenary session, Tokyo and Washington are seeking to
solve outstanding bilateral issues of whether Japan can retain tariffs on
its sensitive farm goods and the phase-out period of U.S. auto duties. But
a Japanese minister attending the four-day conference through Tuesday said
more working-level bargaining needs to be done before bringing the issues
to the ministerial level.

Akira Amari, Japan's minister in charge of the TPP, and U.S. Trade
Representative Michael Froman held bilateral talks over the issues on

Holding ministerial talks without enough preparation is "not necessarily a
good idea," Amari told reporters Monday morning, suggesting that many
differences remain between the two sides.

"We need to know (before setting up next ministerial talks) that we won't
end up having the same results" as the previous bilateral meeting, he said.

Japan has been under strong pressure from other negotiating peers,
especially Washington, to further open up its agricultural market, as the
U.S.-led TPP aims for the abolition of all tariffs in principle.

The 12 countries bordering the Pacific Ocean will also try to move forward
negotiations on intellectual property rights.

The United States is in conflict on the matter with emerging nations, which
fear that the access to generic medicines could be restricted if a longer
patent protection period for new medicines is adopted.


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