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'TPP 11' negotiators make headway before crucial summit next week

'Consensus' reached on freezing certain provisions, but obstacles remain

Top Japanese trade negotiator Kazuyoshi Umemoto, center, speaks to counterparts from the other remaining TPP signatories in Urayasu, near Tokyo, on Oct. 31.

URAYASU, Japan -- The 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership members have narrowed down the rules that should be shelved from the original deal -- an important step ahead of a pivotal summit in Vietnam next week.

"We were able to further the debate [on rule suspensions]," Kazuyoshi Umemoto, Japan's lead negotiator, told reporters on Wednesday after three days of talks in the city of Urayasu, just outside of Tokyo.

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