United States, 11 nations on verge of historic Pacific Rim trade accord

The United States, Japan and 10 other Pacific Rim nations were on the verge of a final agreement Sunday night on the largest free-trade accord in a generation, an ambitious effort led by the Obama administration to knit together economies across a vast region.


The deal would cap more than five years of arduous negotiations on a project central to President Obama’s economic agenda and potentially hand him a legacy-defining victory late in his presidency.


Negotiators said that they were near a consensus on terms for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after a feverish week of talks here among trade ministers who sought to close the gaps on several lingering disputes. Plans to publicly announce a deal in the afternoon were delayed several times as the parties wrangled over the technical details related to market access for dairy products and new-generation biologic medicines.


Those are just two sections of a sprawling, multiple-chapter pact that addresses tariff reductions for agriculture and automobiles as well as intellectual-property rights for pharmaceutical drugs and movies, the free flow of information on the Internet, wildlife conservation, online commerce and dispute settlements for multinational corporations.


U.S. officials said they were confident that meetings late Sunday and early Monday would produce a final agreement. Other nations also expressed optimism that a deal would be reached. The sense of urgency was palpable among the officials, who fear they are running out of time with political elections in Canada this month and the United States next year. Opponents of the deal have staged demonstrations inside and outside a Westin hotel in Atlanta, where the negotiators are meeting.


Read More: United States, 11 nations on verge of historic Pacific Rim trade accord – The Washington Post