Following the failure of reaching a deal in Hawaii in late July, the 12 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners are holding bilateral talks while waiting for multilateral negotiations to resume in September.
Vietnam is one of the 12 countries negotiating the U.S.-led TPP as one of the world’s biggest free-trade agreements. The 11 other partners are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and the United States.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, chief negotiator of Vietnam, said on Saturday that all the parties concerned wanted to wrap up TPP talks within this year. Otherwise, the TPP accord could not reach U.S. Congress before the presidential election campaign begins in 2016. President Barack Obama wants the deal done before he leaves office.
Therefore, Vietnam and 11 other countries expect talks to resume in September, according to Deputy Minister Khanh, who is in America to work with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative over bilateral issues related to the TPP.
Khanh said issues involving auto market openness, dairy products and intellectual property remained to be solved. After they are settled in bilateral talks, they would be discussed in the multilateral meeting.
In bilateral negotiations, America and Japan have reached agreement on opening the automotive market in which the U.S. allows cars manufactured in Japan with domestic parts accounting for 30% to 55% to benefit from the TPP rule of origin.
However, this has not been accepted by other nations such as Mexico and Canada since the U.S. market is the largest car exporter to both countries, and if Japanese cars are allowed in, it would pile great pressure on them.
Similarly, New Zealand and Australia expect broader market openness for dairy products but have not yet agreed on a deal since the offers of some countries for them are not satisfactory.
Intellectual property rights are also being negotiated. America suggests exclusive protection of test data for biological medicine for 12 years but other countries want shorter periods.SGT