Barack Obama, Shinzo Abe US and Japanese leaders discuss Trans-Pacific Partnership deal

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is aimed at liberalising markets in 12 countries, and the US and Japan will be among the biggest players.

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play US President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe(BBC)
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In line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's state visit to the United States, the Japanese leader and United States President Barack Obama are set to meet to discuss a significant trade deal for the Pacific Rim.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which has been in the making for about a decade, is aimed at liberalising markets in 12 countries, and the US and Japan will be among the biggest players.

It is poised to be the world's largest-ever free trade deal, and estimates suggest the proposed deal could cover up to 40% of global trade.

Apart from the US and Japan, other countries involved in the deal are Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.

BBC reports that both leaders have advocated for the partnership, arguing that freer trade will benefit their economies, but critics in their respective countries fear that jobs and certain industries will be made more vulnerable, and Obama is reportedly seeking Congress' guarantee to "fast-track" approval for the deal.

Yesterday, US Secretary of State, John Kerry revealed that both countries had reached a new defence deal, clarifying the US' commitments to Japan's security.

Local Japanese media is also reporting that Abe is expected to discuss the new defence guidelines with Obama today (Tuesday) as well as the controversial relocation of the Futenma US air base in Okinawa, which currently has the central government in conflict with the local government.

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