Obama: Time is now to resolve trade pact issues

AP News
Posted: Apr 24, 2014 12:29 AM

TOKYO (AP) — President Barack Obama says the time is now to resolve issues preventing the conclusion of a major, 12-nation trade agreement.

Obama is speaking at a news conference in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh ah-bay). The two leaders say they are stepping up negotiations in hopes of reaching a conclusion.

Obama is rejecting suggestions that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is in danger, despite disagreements with Japan and opposition from Obama's Democratic allies in Congress.

Obama says trade discussions are always sensitive. He says Abe must deal with his own domestic politics just like Obama has to deal with his politics in Washington.

The trade deal has been a lynchpin of Obama's broadened attention to Asia. But the U.S. and Japan remain at odds over tariffs and market access issues.