Trade expert Peter Clark is in Lahaina, Hawaii, where he will be reporting on talks at the Trans Pacific Partnership Ministerial meeting.
LAHAINA, Hawaii – Day two of the TPP Ministerial went late into the night. Indeed we are into round the clock negotiations in the race for the concluding media conference scheduled for 1:30 PM HST (7:30 PM EDT) Friday.
Former Canada-US Free Trade Agreement Deputy Chief Negotiator Gordon Ritchie used to compare coordinating provinces on trade negotiations to herding cats. The TPP has set a new standard – it has been like containing bullfrogs in a wheel-barrow.
There is broader engagement and the wheels of consensus are rolling. No one missed the half-way cut. Ministers are on track to an agreement. The key questions are how broad will it be and how deep?
Agricultural issues are being addressed and other sticky issues have been moved to the plus side of the ledger. There is no leaderboard or scoresheet for the Ministers. Scrums, leaks and posturing by participants provide our information base.