Ambassador Clayton Yeutter, Former U.S. Trade Representative & Secretary of Agriculture briefed TABC members on the TPP. Ambassador Yeutter has closely followed the entire course of the TPP negotiations from the beginning and briefed our members on the challenges for concluding the now four years of negotiations. Ambassador Yeutter’s negotiating experiences with both Asian countries and the EU and his insights on this protracted negotiation are unmatched.
How close are the U.S. and Japan to reaching a deal on market access, which would resolve one of the primary remaining stumbling blocks to TPP’s conclusion? How will the unexpected announcement by Japanese Prime Minister Abe on November 19 that he will dissolve Parliament and call for national elections on December 14 affect the ability of the Japanese government to negotiate on difficult agricultural and automotive issues? What other stumbling blocks with other countries remain to reaching the overall agreement? In the U.S., prospects for congressional cooperation regarding passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) improved with a resounding victory for the generally pro-trade Republican Party in this month’s midterm elections. The meeting of the leaders of the TPP countries on the side of the mid-November APEC Summit in Beijing ended with an expression of hope for concluding the TPP by late winter. Has that been dashed already by Prime Minister Abe’s weakened political position? Are there any lessons for TTIP? These and more questions were answered during the event.