The Atlanta meeting of ministers negotiating the TPP agreement seems likely to arrive at a workable fix on Saturday October 3 (US) time.
Malaysian negotiator reported concerns about State Owned Enterprises that may be enough to scuttle Malaysia's participation.
On other issues, the Saturday (Japan time) report in Mainichi Shimbun provides fair coverage: Japan cites progress on drug patents, dairy produce in TPP talks - æ¯æ¥æ°è
"Japan cites progress on drug patents, dairy produce in TPP talks
ATLANTA (Kyodo) -- Twelve Pacific Rim countries on Friday continued last-minute efforts for the conclusion of a free trade initiative, with a Japanese official hailing progress on thorny issues such as drug patents and market access for dairy product.
"Every country is working toward a closure so we can hold a joint press conference tomorrow," Akira Amari, Japanese minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
deal, told reporters ahead of a ministerial plenary session.
The countries concerned have made progress over the issue of drug patents, automotive trades and tariffs on dairy products, Amari said.
"We've made a big leap on automobiles," Amari said. Negotiations through Friday evening have led Canada
to "considerably understand" Japanese positions, Amari said.
The United States, Japan, Canada
still have differences over the local-content ratio for automotive components to avoid or reduce duties within the envisioned TPP zone.
The countries discussing how long the patents of new biologic drugs should be protected have "come closer" to an agreement, Amari said.
Australian trade minister Andrew Robb said the United States proposed shortening the period of new drug patents protection from 12 years to effectively eight years, in an apparent concession to Australia
and other countries that have called the 12-year period too long.
"But that's unsatisfactory," Robb said in Atlanta. Australia and other countries demand the period be no longer than five years to help encourage the production of cheaper generic medicine.
Robb expressed his eagerness to finally reach an agreement on drug patents, saying, "I see a path forward."
Amari also mentioned progress over the issue of market access for dairy products over which New Zealand
has disputes with Japan, the United States, Canada and Mexico.
"can almost see a goal within sight with Japan, Canada and Mexico. The (remaining) task is relations between New Zealand and the United States," Amari said.
The countries involved held a series of working-level consultations, both bilaterally and multilaterally, ahead of a plenary ministerial session Friday evening, the first such meeting on the third day of the latest negotiations in Atlanta, Japanese officials said.
The United States started the TPP negotiations in 2010 with Australia, Brunei, Chile
, New Zealand, Peru
. Canada, Japan, Mexico and Malaysia
joined the talks later.
October 03, 2015 (Mainichi Japan)"