March 18, 2013
by World Trade Online

U.S. business and agriculture organizations -- with the exception of the U.S. automotive industry -- have came out strongly in favor of Japan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, although some groups still appear somewhat worried that the addition of Japan could make it impossible to conclude the negotiations this year, which is the goal of the current 11 TPP members. Japan announced on Friday (March 15) it would seek to join the talks.

In general, most business groups supported Japan joining so long as it can meet the high standards set by current participants and would not disrupt the goal of concluding talks this year. This position reflects the formal position taken by the Obama administration and other TPP partners, although many observers argue that the addition of Japan would necessarily mean that the talks would take longer to conclude.

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