U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk informed Congress in letters sent on July 9 and 10 of the Obama administration’s intent to bring Canada and Mexico into ongoing negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. The Congressional notification triggered an automatic 60-day public comment period, after which Canada and Mexico would join the formal negotiations provided that the other eight members of the negotiations also approve of their inclusion. The 13th round of TPP negotiations (which did not yet include Canada and Mexico) concluded in San Diego in early July. Although participating countries have stated a goal of concluding negotiations by the end of 2012, many observers believe it is unlikely the negotiations, which began in 2009, will be concluded before 2013.