No trade breakthrough expected with Japan during Abe visit

AP News
Posted: Apr 24, 2015 2:43 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House does not expect President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay) to announce a final agreement next week on trade talks between the two nations.

The talks are central to a broader 12-country Asia Pacific commerce pact.

Abe is making an official visit to Washington Tuesday that will include a state dinner with about 300 guests. Trade is a top issue, as are new security arrangements between the U.S. and Japan.

Caroline Atkinson is White House deputy national security adviser for international economics. She cites cited "substantial progress" with Japan on trade but says more work remains.

Obama is seeking so-called fast-track authority from Congress to negotiate trade deals. He faces significant Democratic opposition and has been pushing back against his critics.