Week-Long TPP Session Opens in Vietnam

Posted June 20th, 2011 at 1:10 am (UTC-5)
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Trade negotiators from nine countries are meeting in Vietnam at the start of a five-day free trade bargaining session.

The talks, which opened in Ho Chi Minh City Monday, are aimed at reaching broad agreement on terms of the so-called Trans Pacific Partnership ahead of a November summit in Hawaii.

The countries have already agreed to an immediate end to tariffs on 90 percent of trade goods, with remaining tariffs to be eliminated by 2015. However, differences remain in areas such as intellectual property and protection of labor rights and the environment.

Malaysia’s Bernama news agency on Sunday quoted Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah saying he will present a working paper designed to protect local investors.

The TPP is being negotiated by Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Peru, the United States and Vietnam. Japan is considering whether to join the talks.