Japan trade minister stresses need for bigger TPP

Japan’s minister for the Trans-Pacific trade pact, Toshimitsu Motegi, has stressed the need for more members to join. Six of 11 member nations have ratified the deal so far, clearing the bar for it to take effect on December 30th. Lead negotiators of the 11 countries gathered for a 2-day meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday.

Motegi said that with international concerns about protectionism on the rise, the TPP needs to increase its membership. He said he hoped for progress in getting more members to join at the next TPP ministerial meeting in Japan in January.

At the 2-day meeting, members will share views on how the TPP is working after it takes effect, as well as on procedures for new members to join. Japan aims to strengthen ties with countries that believe in free trade ahead of trade talks with the United States set to start in January.

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