Inside U.S. Trade: "Robb Says Only U.S., Mexico, Canada, Japan Can Break TPP Logjam"

August 13, 2015


Australian Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb is putting the onus on the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Japan to resolve amongst themselves disagreements over autos and dairy market access that he said have become the main stumbling blocks to a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, adding that once those are hammered out an agreement could be reached within days.

“The last few yards are very difficult and really there are two big issues … motor vehicles, and it's really between the NAFTA countries -- Mexico, the U.S., Canada -- and Japan, and they got to a stalemate. There's a similar problem with dairy and those four countries again,” he said during remarks at the Australian National Press Club on August 12. “If they in the next few weeks can resolve those two issues -- out of thousands of issues by the way -- then I think we could complete this in a couple of days sitting.”

“We will reconvene if they get to that point, so it's doable, but the heat over there politically in the U.S. is getting red hot, Canada's into an election already, so there's some complications, and the closer we get to a U.S. presidential election the more prospect there is for it falling over,” he added.

Robb did not mention that Australia and New Zealand are also involved in the dairy market access negotiations, as they are seeking access to all four of those major markets.

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