By  on April 12, 2013

WASHINGTON — The U.S. said Friday it has completed bilateral consultations with Japan and cleared the country to join the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations between the U.S. and 10 other countries.

However, the other TPP countries must also complete consultations and reach a consensus before Japan can formally join the negotiations.

Adding the world’s third-largest economy to the negotiations could potentially provide new opportunities for U.S. apparel, textile and footwear exporters, but it also brings a new level of complexity to the talks, which some fear will impede the goal of reaching a final trade accord this year.

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