US, Japan fail to reach TPP trade deal

Updated: 2014-04-25 10:42


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TOKYO - The United States and Japan failed to reach a breakthrough in their trade talks over the Trans- Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) as US President Barack Obama is wrapping up a visit to Japan on Friday.

"This time we cannot say there is a basic agreement," Japanese Economy Minister Akira Amari told reporters after two-day talks in parallel with Obama's visit.

"Overall, the gaps are steadily narrowing," he said.

Amari, who is in charge of the trade talks, said that the thorny issue of market access for agricultural products and automobiles has not been resolved.

The United States has been insisting on access to the Japanese market for agricultural products and autos, the biggest sticking point in the negotiations.

At a summit on Thursday, Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a last-ditch push for the trade talks but failed to broker a deal.