No Pacific trade pact this year, ministers to try again next month

An ambitious trade pact between a dozen countries around the Pacific Rim will not be finalized this year as hoped, with no agreement on thorny issues like intellectual property, agricultural tariffs and state-owned enterprises. The U.S.-backed deal, which Washington wanted to conclude this year, aims to establish a free-trade bloc stretching from Vietnam to Chile and Japan, encompassing about 800 million people and almost 40 percent of the global economy. But differences over farm tariffs between the United States and Japan proved to be one of the major roadblocks. “None of us have agreed on anything,” Tim Groser, New Zealand’s trade minister, told a news conference in Singapore on Tuesday at the end of a four-day meeting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).


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