Ministers negotiating the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership will meet for three days next week in Atlanta in what is seen as a last ditch effort to reach an agreement.
Prime Ministers Shinzō Abe of Japan and Stephen Harper, and President Barack Obama all want the deal done – and done soon.
After the Maui fiasco last month, nothing can be left to chance. This must be an essentially done deal before it is handed off to Ministers. A working session in San Francisco on the automotive impasse begins today. Those meetings will determine the outcome of what, if anything, will be discussed at the Atlanta meetings, which run from September 30 to October 1.
Obama has predicted aloud that the agreement will be done in weeks. He is a brave soul given his record as a prognosticator. The deal is still not certain. Are his advisors confident – or is there no chance but to push ahead – because the window for passage on his watch will soon close?