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United States and Japan Hold Expert-level Trans-Pacific Partnership Consultations

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United States and Japan concluded two days of consultations related to Japan's interest in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. This meeting was a follow-up session to the senior-level consultation with Japan held on February 7, 2012.

The meeting was an opportunity for the United States to continue the assessment of Japan's readiness to meet the high TPP standard. Experts from both Governments exchanged information on topics across a range of TPP chapter and issue areas. Japanese officials also provided further information about Japan's existing laws and regulations, as well as on relevant provisions in its existing free trade agreements with other trading partners. Both Governments agreed to continue the consultative process, with additional meetings to be arranged at a later date.

The meeting was chaired by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and included the participation of representatives from additional U.S. and Japanese Government agencies. Michael Beeman, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan, and Ambassador Keiichi Katakami, Ambassador in Charge of Economic Diplomacy, co-chaired these expert-level consultations.

Background:

In November 2011, Prime Minister Noda announced Japan's intention to begin consultations with TPP countries toward joining the TPP negotiations. Since that time, USTR has sought public comments, and is continuing to consult with the Congress and with domestic stakeholders in the process of assessing Japan's readiness to be prepared to meet the TPP's high standards for liberalizing trade and to address specific issues of concern. This meeting is the second official meeting with the Japanese Government in this ongoing process.