September 24, 2015 3:57 am JST
Elusive deal

More talk, still no deal on rules of origin for autoparts

TOKYO -- Officials from Japan, the U.S., Canada and Mexico failed this week to break an impasse over standards for repealing automobile tariffs, a person familiar with the talks said.

     Their meeting, held Monday and Tuesday in San Francisco, is part of the effort to forge the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty.

     Japan has wrangled with Mexico and Canada over setting the ratio of a vehicle's components to be made within the proposed free trade bloc in order for the auto to qualify for an import tariff exemption. Japan, whose automakers source parts widely from non-TPP countries, has argued for setting the bar low, around 40%. Mexico and Canada have pushed for more than 60%, in line with the North American Free Trade Agreement to which they are party.

     But the four countries have made progress, another person familiar with the talks said. They will continue discussions in parallel with a meeting of TPP chief negotiators starting Saturday in Atlanta. This meeting will be followed by cabinet-level talks that will test the resolve of all sides to settle issues that have defied attempts at building a consensus, including the dairy products trade and drug data protection.

(Nikkei)

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