Harper, Obama, attend TPP meeting in Beijing

by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

BEIJING, China—Prime Minister Stephen Harper sat down with Barack Obama and other world leaders today for a meeting about the proposed Asia-Pacific free-trade deal known as the TransPacific Partnership.

Under heavy security, the US president was whisked into an auditorium at the American embassy in Beijing as Harper and the leaders of the 10 other TPP countries awaited his arrival.

Obama spoke at the beginning of the meeting, urging his fellow leaders to break some of the remaining logjams and move towards a historic deal.

Harper listened intently as Obama spoke.

The US has been pressuring Canada to open up its protected dairy and poultry sectors as TPP negotiations near a crucial year-end deadline.

There are dim hopes for a deal this year, largely due to a stalemate between the U.S. and Japan over whether Japan will open its borders to farm exports.

Japan issued a statement after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s meeting with Harper on Sunday, saying they agreed on the “need to confirm the political determination to settle a deal.”

The prime minister is making an appearance at the opening day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit before flying home later today to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies on Parliament Hill.