NHK reports, “Before the opening session [of TPP talks in Japan today], Kazuyoshi Umemoto [the chair of the meeting] held separate talks with officials from 6 countries, including Canada and Singapore.”
The Trudeau government continues to pursue the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) despite public concerns and the United States withdrawing from the deal.
The Associated Press reports, “Members of a Pacific Rim trade initiative rejected by U.S. President Donald Trump are to hold working-level talks Wednesday [July 12] in the Japanese mountain resort town of Hakone, west of Tokyo. …Japanese officials say they are hoping the TPP talks will get a boost from the Economic Partnership Agreement reached with the European Union…”
The Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement was signed July 6 (though it still has a ratification process to go through and officials still need to agree to an investment dispute settlement system).
The article notes, “[The eleven remaining] TPP members hope to make progress on an alternative that does not include the U.S. before an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam in November [to be specific, November 10-11].”
The Japan Times adds, “Kazuyoshi Umemoto, the chair of the meeting, said at the outset of the gathering that he is determined to discuss ‘possible options for the early entry into force of the TPP’ before their leaders gather in November for an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vietnam. …[And] Nobuteru Ishihara, minister in charge of TPP affairs, told a news conference Tuesday that Japan hopes to push forward discussions on the pact’s early implementation, ‘including how to bring the United States back [into the deal]’.”
That article notes, “Chief negotiators will likely meet again in September.”
The Council of Canadians and its supporters have repeatedly called on the Trudeau government to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.