The TPP ministerial meeting in Atlanta has been extended at least until Friday, probably until Saturday. Hope springs eternal and success this week could restore our belief in miracles.
Progress was made Thursday: we now appear to have an agreement on rules-of-origin for the automotive sector — but we don’t know what’s in it, or how much Canada had to give away to get to ‘yes’. So there appear to be fewer worries now that the ministers will fail to get a deal — but it’s not at all clear that the U.S. team can get enough in the package to please Congress. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, in a speech from the Senate floor, has already warned the Obama administration about how high the bar has been set.