MOSCOW (Sputnik) – High-level talks in Hawaii failed to lead to the conclusion of a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, The Wall Street Journal reports.
"The sad thing is, it’s 98% concluded," Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said as quoted by the newspaper late on Friday.
The Wall Street Journal said that some of the reasons behind the failed talks are remaining disputes over dairy and automobile trade as well as the protection of cutting-edge biologic drugs.
Pacific Rim trade ministers, who gathered on the Hawaiian island of Maui on July 28-31 said they would continue to seek an agreement before the end of the year, but did not specify the dates of future meetings.
TPP critics point to its uncertain implications for rights, employment relations and the environment.
The Obama administration argues that the new trade deal will allow Washington to shape the international economy to benefit US interests and balance out China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
In June, US President Barack Obama signed a bill empowering him to conclude any trade agreements using a simplified scheme. This applies to the TPP, which concerns Pacific Rim countries but excludes China and Russia.