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AGRIBUSINESS: USTR Still Expects TPP Deal By End Of 2013

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U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said world trade ministers may discuss the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership around the same time as a December 3 World Trade Organization meeting.

The now three-year-old TPP talks involve 12 countries and are purposed to establish a free-trade bloc from Vietnam to Chile to Japan.  The bloc would include 800 million people which is nearly one-third of world trade and nearly 40 percent of the global economy.

In its final form, the TPP should eliminate trade barriers in areas like government procurement and set standards for workers’ rights, environmental protection and intellectual property rights.

While the goal is to seal the TPP deal by the end of the year, there are still many issues to sort out, according to Froman.