Japan becomes second country after Mexico to ratify TPP-11

TOKYO, July 7 — Japan has become the second country to ratify the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), or the TPP-11, joining Mexico which ratified the regional trade deal in April.

On July 6, Japan informed New Zealand, the depository of the trade pact, of its completion of the ratification process.

The TPP-11 pact will enter into force 60 days after six of the 11 countries ratify the deal, a process that involves amending their respective domestic laws.

“We hope that enough countries will ratify the agreement soon so that we can bring it into force as early as early next year,” Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at a July 6 press conference.

New Zealand, Australia and other signatories have taken steps toward ratification.

TPP-11’s chief negotiators will gather on July 18-19 in Hakone, a lake resort near Tokyo. Japan will chair the meeting and it is expected to discuss the procedure on how to add more members to the pace once it comes into effect.

Meanwhile, Japan is set to launch free, fair and reciprocal (FFR) talks with the U.S. late July.

For Japan, keeping the TPP-11 has become Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s core strategy for dealing with U.S. pressure to begin negotiations on a bilateral trade deal.

Tokyo fears U.S. demands to further market access, particularly in areas such as cars and beef, which may go beyond the concessions it made as part of the original TPP.

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