12/11/2013 at 9:14 a.m.
From the USA Rice Federation:
The Ministers and Heads of Delegation for the 12 countries meeting this weekend in Singapore on the TPP released a joint statement on Tuesday announcing that they made much progress and were moving forward.
"We, the Ministers and Heads of Delegation for Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam... made substantial progress toward completing the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement....We will continue to work with flexibility to finalize [remaining issues in the text of the agreement] as well as market access issues," read the statement.
The statement went on to say that based on the success of the ministerial, they would continue working in the coming weeks towards an agreement, and continue "consultations with stakeholders and engage in our respective political processes."
USA Rice has been deeply involved from the outset, providing counsel to the U.S. Trade Representative team.
"USA Rice looks forward to continuing to support the U.S. government's effort to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that provides for a significant improvement in the current quantity and quality of access for U.S. rice in Japan," said USA Rice COO Bob Cummings who attended the ministerial in Singapore.