Trans-Pacific trade ministers say progress made but issues remain

by Reuters
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 06:53 GMT

SINGAPORE, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Ministers in 12-nation Trans-Pacific trade talks said on Tuesday they have made progress trying to finalise a deal during a four-day meeting in Singapore but several issues remain, particularly questions over market access.

"While some issues remain, we have charted a path forward to resolve them"," said New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser, reading from a joint media release at the end of the meeting.

"Market access" issues remain one of the main sticking points, the ministers said.

Ministers involved in the talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which aims to break down trade barriers across a wide range of sectors, had signalled ahead of the meeting that they were close to reaching a deal.

However, long-running differences on tariffs on imported goods, particularly between the United States and Japan, are proving to be particularly difficult to overcome. (Reporting by Rachel Armstrong and Masayuki Kitano; Editing by Paul Tait)

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