Dec. 2 - I have been receiving a lot of reader feedback on Japan's possible participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. There appears to be some misunderstandings, so I thought I would take a moment to explain briefly the U.S. position.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda before the APEC leaders dinner in Honolulu on Nov. 12. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
The United States welcomes Prime Minister Noda's announcement of Japan's interest in beginning a consultative process with the countries already taking part in TPP negotiations, including the United States. We look forward to engaging with Japan as we consult with our Congress and domestic stakeholders.
Countries wishing to join the negotiations must be prepared to meet the TPP's high standards, as well as to address individual issues. While the United States believes that TPP will make an excellent vehicle for trade liberalization and economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region, from the outset we have looked to Japan to make its own decision on whether to seek to join with the nine nations participating in TPP negotiations.
Some readers have said they do not have enough information on the TPP. For those who are interested, please see this recent statement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative describing the outline of the TPP agreement. The U.S. Embassy in Japan's website also provides links to further information.
Until next time,