USTR asks public comments on Japan's entry into TPP talks

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said Tuesday it has published a request for public comments in the Federal register regarding Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks.

Written comments from the public are due June 9, the office said, adding it will also hold a public hearing on July 2 in Washington.

These are part of the U.S. domestic procedures to finalize the decision to accept Japan as a new member in the multilateral trade liberalization talks.

On April 12, the United States agreed on Japan's entry into the TPP negotiations in their preliminary bilateral talks. Then, all 11 TPP countries announced that they will welcome Tokyo's participation in the market-opening talks on April 20.

On April 24, the U.S. government notified Congress of its intent to include Japan in the Pacific free trade talks. Given the 90-day consultation period between the government and Congress, Japan will likely be allowed to join the TPP negotiations in late July.