Talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership fail to reach agreement but delegates say negotiations will continue. Paul Chapman reports.
The Hawaiian island of Maui's getting back to normal after the tide of delegates who swept in to finalise a Pacific Rim trade deal left without one. Completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement foundered on disagreements over issues like pharmaceutical patents, dairy exports and the motor trade. But U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman says the 12 nations came close and won't give up now. (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE MICHAEL FROMAN SAYING: "After more than a week of productive meetings we've made significant progress and will continue to work on resolving a limited number of remaining issues, paving the way for the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations." The TPP would stretch from Japan to Chile and cover 12 nations representing 40 per cent of the world economy. Failure to seal the agreement is a setback for U.S. President Barack Obama. The pact is seen as the economic arm of the administration's pivot to Asia and an opportunity to balance out China's influence in the region. The Maui talks were billed as the last chance to get a deal in time to pass the U.S. Congress this year, before 2016 presidential elections muddy the waters.