The U.S. administration was right to leave Japan last week with no firm trade agreement because no deal is better than a bad deal, Senate Finance Committee chairman Ron Wyden said on Thursday.
U.S. President Barack Obama met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week in Tokyo and both sides said they had agreed on a path forward on trade talks, but more work was needed.
The two countries are negotiating better access to Japan's markets for U.S. farmers and automakers and an end to U.S. tariffs on imported Japanese cars, and a stalemate has held up a wider Pacific free trade deal among 12 nations, Reuters reported.
Wyden said he had been briefed on the Tokyo talks and thought U.S. officials had made the right call.
"The administration made the judgment that no deal is better than a bad deal and I think they were right on it," he told reporters after a hearing with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.
The United States had hoped to complete the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which includes Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia and others, by the end of last year but many issues are still on the table.