Pacific trade ministers wrapping up talks at Hawaii resort

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

LAHAINA, Hawaii (AP) — Ministers from a dozen Pacific Rim nations meeting at a Hawaii resort are wrapping up four days of talks on the establishment of a new trade agreement that would cover nearly 40 percent of the global economy.

The wide-ranging Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations are addressing tariffs on autos, rice and dairy products, as well as intellectual property protections for pharmaceuticals.

The talks have also covered establishing environmental protections for participant nations, which range from developing countries like Vietnam to industrial powers like Japan.

The Obama administration says a pact would boost U.S. economic growth and help keep high-quality jobs in the country by increasing exports.

Ministers from the 12 countries are scheduled to hold a news conference later Friday.