— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on July 21, Monday.
[Michael Froman, US Trade Representative]
A: First of all, it's important to recognize that coming out of the worst economic crisis in years, countries may have adopted measures that restricted trade but it had a pretty minor impact on global trade, between 1-4% of global trade being affected. That stands in contrast to what happened in 1930s when there was a last major crisis. Give credit to governments and G20 for underscoring the importance of not restricting trade. Some of those trade restrictive measures are things like implementing our trade remedy laws, and provided you're doing it consistently with the WTO, I don't view that as protectionism but part of the deal of creating free and fair trade to make sure the countries are living by their obligations.
Q: TPP - There's recently been another series of meetings in Canada. Australia's trade minister said that he doesn't expect any firm agreement until 2015. Is that the same sense that you're getting?
A: Our sense is that the time table for the agreement should be driven by the substance of negotiations, most important thing is to achieve an ambitious, comprehensive high standard agreement and it will take as long as it takes to do that. Having said that, we've got a lot of momentum as you mentioned, we had chief negotiators meeting in Canada where we've had a pretty significant progress closing out issues and refining remaining differences. I'm confident that over the course of the next several months, we're going to be able to reach closure on the rest.
Q: It appears as though agriculture is a big sticking point when it comes to TPP, how are we going to over come that to get the agreement across the line?
A: It's very important. It's part of our overall market access package in terms of what TPP has intended to achieve. We're negotiating right now with Japan to open its market to US agricultural exports and I also know a number of TPP countries that are also engaging Japan in that regard and it's also important that Japan lives up to its commitment to achieve the high level of ambition that the TPP partners set out before they join the TPP. Same is true of Canada, we're looking forward to Canada coming to the table on agriculture negotiations because that's important too.