Business Standard, 12 August 2015. Sealing Pacific trade deal will be tough: Australia.

An edited extract of the original article appears below.

Australia’s trade minister said today the last negotiating stages of a massive Pacific trade pact were “very difficult”, with the deal more likely to fail when the US presidential cycle kicks in.

and 11 other Asia-Pacific countries have for more than five years been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an agreement that would encompass 40 per cent of global trade.

The most recent round of talks — billed to be the last — failed to reach agreement in late July.

“I think it’s still doable,” Andrew Robb told the National Press Club in Canberra. “We did really get very close but… The last few yards are very difficult.”

Robb said if two key issues — auto trade and dairy — were resolved, it would only take several days of negotiations to seal the deal but the timing of such agreements was crucial.

is into an election already. So there are some complications and the closer we get to a US presidential election, the more prospect of it falling over,” he said.

“If we don’t shake on it, my experience in doing deals in business and in government over nearly 40 years is that the chances are it will fall apart. We won’t get back to it.” …



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