To realize the early signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal by the 11 signatory nations (TPP 11), Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Toshimitsu Motegi met with his Mexican counterpart Idelfonso Guajardo on Jan. 9. His visit to the Central American country is aimed at arbitrating a labor dispute issue between Vietnam and Mexico, as Mexico is opposed to Vietnam’s call for a grace period in the introduction of labor dispute settlement rules. Motegi will stay in Mexico through Jan. 12 and is scheduled to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto to pave the way for the signing of the TPP 11 either in February or March.
After the dispute between Mexico and Vietnam is addressed, the next issue that needs to be dealt with is Canada’s call for preferential treatment for Canadian firms to better protect its culture. A Japanese trade official has stressed that “Canada’s request will not be accepted” and is trying to convince the Canadian side to retract its demand.
But Canada remains cautious about an early signing of the TPP11. Depending on Canada’s response, there is a possibility that the other ten countries will go ahead and sign the deal. (Abridged)