President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet in Tokyo on April 24, but it is thought unlikely now, based on lack of progress this week,  that there will be an announcement on bilateral trade negotiations as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Meanwhile, the top negotiators from 12 Pacific Rim countries will meet May 12-15 in Vietnam for another round of talks on the TPP, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced this week.  The meeting will bring the chief TPP negotiators together just before the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meet May 17-18 in Qingdao, China.  Progress in the talks continues to largely depend on whether the United States and Japan are able to resolve critical issues on market access for agricultural goods and automobiles.