US commerce secretary urges Japan to be bolder in opening its markets as trade pact talks lag

Economic Indicators Associated Press

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker has urged Japan to be bolder in opening its markets to help reach a deal on a pan-Pacific trade agreement.

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Pritzker, who is leading the Commerce Department's first trade mission to Japan in two decades, said U.S. and Japanese negotiators were closing the gap on trade in farm goods and vehicles but that there were still "tough issues" to work on.

She said the 12-nation trade pact, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, could yield tens of billions of dollars a year in economic gains and increased exports for each side.

Executives from 20 U.S. companies, many of them leaders in medical and energy technologies, have joined the trade mission to Japan and South Korea. It is Pritzker's first visit to Asia as commerce secretary.