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International relations

TPP negotiators to gather next month to discuss expansion

Thailand and Indonesia ready to join Asia free trade bloc

TOKYO -- The 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, which does not include the U.S., will prepare for its next stage of expansion when chief negotiators meet in Japan in mid-July to discuss how to usher new members in.

On Friday, Japan's parliament passed bills ratifying the TPP-11, making it the second member after Mexico to finalize domestic procedures. The Asia free trade bloc now needs four more member states to complete similar procedures to kick the process into the next stage. TPP-11 takes effect 60 days after six of its 11 members ratify the pact.

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