Canadian Manufacturing

Harper, Obama attend meeting in Beijing to discuss TPP deal

Dim hopes for Trans-Pacific Partnership deal this year, largely due to stalemate between U.S., Japan

BEIJING—Prime Minister Stephen Harper sat down with Barack Obama and other world leaders in China for a meeting about the proposed Asia-Pacific free-trade deal known as the TransPacific Partnership (TPP).

Under heavy security, the United States president was whisked into an auditorium at the American embassy in Beijing as Harper and the leaders of the 10 other TPP countries awaited his arrival.

Obama spoke at the beginning of the meeting, urging his fellow leaders to break some of the remaining logjams and move towards a historic deal.

Harper listened intently as Obama spoke.

The U.S. has been pressuring Canada to open up its protected dairy and poultry sectors as TPP negotiations near a crucial year-end deadline.

There are dim hopes for a deal this year, largely due to a stalemate between the U.S. and Japan over whether Japan will open its borders to farm exports.

Japan issued a statement after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s meeting with Harper on Nov. 9, saying they agreed on the “need to confirm the political determination to settle a deal.”

Harper while on a trade mission to China announced commercial and currency deals worth as much as $2.5 billion between the two countries, and met with China’s leadership, including President Xi Jinping.

The prime minister made an appearance at the opening day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit before flying home late Nov. 10 to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies on Parliament Hill.

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