Article Date: 09/06/2015

The Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are once again in danger of being slowed. In fact, the Malaysian Trade and Industry Minister, Mustapa Mohamed is quoted saying, “There has been progress, but we still have some issues to address…when the TPP will be concluded is an open question.”

The United States, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia are the four countries with significant disagreements with TPP terms. The difficult negotiations include “automobile manufacturing, agriculture, and dairy production.” There are currently 12 countries in the TPP trading partnership, but President Obama would like to bring China on board as part of his “pivot toward Asia,” but that is proving to be a daunting task.

United States car companies opposed Japan’s participation in TPP back in 2013, as Toyota Motor Corporation remains a decades-long competitor. In fact, 80,000 autoworkers signed a petition criticizing Japan for their “closed” market for cars. They insist that before Congress completes the TPP with Japan, “currency disciplines and non-tariff barriers” must be addressed.

Consequently, “ensuring that trade agreements include a means of taking action against countries that manipulate their exchange rate” is a high priority for a lot of individuals. Japan is known for “manipulating its currency in behest of its top automakers…”

In addition to automobile manufacturing, dairy production is a huge hangup between Canada, Japan, and the U.S. The “[U.S. Dairy Export Council] has been one of the most vocal champions of the importance of including Japan and Canada in TPP since these markets offer strong opportunities for our members to expand U.S. dairy exports.” However, Japan and Canada do not agree to significantly increase the amount of dairy imported from the United States; Canada specifically has made it very clear “its intent to protect its national interests.” This article in particular insinuates American leaders have forgotten the interests of our country, while other countries like Canada and Mexico protect the interests of theirs.

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