The pressure will go on Barack Obama today to put his political capital on the line and get Congressional support to close out TPP.
The mantra around the Apec meeting earlier today was “the finish line is in sight” when it comes to finalising negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership.
The chapters of the TPP agreement are in place with a considerable amount of the “tradeoffs” still in square brackets.
Obama basically has a six month window to get the deal done or it will become submerged in the morass of the US political system as America prepares for the next presidential elections in 2016.
The Apec Leaders are tomorrow expected to agree to a study on the efficacy of the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific to be finalised by 2016.
This is a step back from China’s original aim to launch an FTAAP feasibility study at this year’s Apec (essentially code for beginning negotiations).
The Trans-Pacific Partnership leaders are meeting at the US embassy in Beijing.
The TPP talks are at the stage where major tradeoffs have to be made.
The leaders are expected to issue a joint statement staking out they intend to conclude the negotiations as soon as possible. But if the statement stops short of putting a firm deadline for finalising TPP, keeping the momentum going will be tough.
TPP ministers – including NZ’s Tim Groser – earlier met under tight security at the embassy to prevent electronic eavesdropping.
Last week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reemphasised there will not be a “significant breakthrough” in the TPP negotiations during Obama’s 10 day trip to Asia.
The U.S.-Japan negotiations are still stalemated over auto industry (US) and agriculture liberalisation (Japan).