Trade Gurus & Public Affairs Mavens

TPP Ministers Gob-Smacked in Maui

Trade expert Peter Clark was in Lahaina, Hawaii, for the recent talks at the Trans Pacific Partnership Ministerial meeting.  The following  is his post-game analysis.

No one should be surprised that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiators meeting in Maui fell short of its objectives.

The Ministers made progress. Success was in sight but the light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be a freight train.

The closing media conference was described in an email to me as a “Gong Show”.  It was.  It revealed little – and hid the anger and frustration which characterized the four day negotiating summit.

Japanese media reports Prime Minister Abe was shocked by the failure of what was to be the final Ministerial meeting. New Zealand took the brunt of the blame from Japan.  New Zealand adopted an unexpected hard line stance for more dairy exports at the last minute with a particular focus on access to US and Japanese dairy markets.

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