TPP countries miss year-end deadline

However, they made substantial progress towards completing the TPP, Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Tran Quoc Khanh, head of the Vietnamese delegation to the negotiations, told a Vietnam News Agency correspondent. 

So many existing issues hard to deal with at the recent talks for the TPP in Singapore is one of the two reasons behind the ending of the talks without a full agreement, he said. 

They include completed issues, such as intellectual property rights and reform of State-owned enterprises. 

Another reason of the failure is negotiations regarding goods which did not reach expected outcomes, Khanh added. 

According to the deputy minister, talks on goods always play a key role in any trade negotiations, especially to the countries with export interests, including Vietnam. 

If the export interests are not satisfactorily met, it is hard to negotiate other fields, he added.

The trade ministers and representatives decided to continue talks next month and will try their best to end it at the earliest time, Khanh said. 

Addressing a press conference after their meeting, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said the parties reached a consensus in many issues and identified existing ones for further debate. 

Next year, the discussions are expected to focus on the remaining issues such as intellectual property rights and reform of state-owned enterprises. 

Regarding the garment sector, one of the important issues of the concerned parties, including Vietnam, he told the VNA correspondent that the US side had discussions with Vietnam and its TPP partners about market access.

The TPP pact, which was at first negotiated by eight countries, now has 12 members, namely Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam. 

If successfully concluded, the pact would encompass roughly 40 percent of global gross domestic product and one-third of world trade. 

The latest TPP session came after the World Trade Organisation on December 7 reached an agreement on some of the issues under the long-stalled Doha Round of trade liberalisation talks in Indonesia.