Friday, April 16

Asian trade talks

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The first round negotiations for the trilateral free trade agreement between South Korea, China and Japan concluded this week in Seoul with all the three countries calling the talks a “success.”

The talks come amid Japan’s announcement to join the US-initiated Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP, which many believe has eased up the negotiation process. While South Korea has shown its reluctance to join the TPP, both Seoul and Tokyo are strong allies of Washington.

As the US has so far excluded China from its push for the international trade group, analysts suggest Washington’s objective is to counter Beijing.