“Japan effectively sealed its participation in Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations Friday after reaching an agreement with the U.S. over its entry into the talks for the emerging regional free trade pact,” says The Nikkei [sub] .
Detroit’s auto makers were violently opposed to Japan’s accession. In the deal, they did not receive what they loudly demanded, namely easier access to the Japanese market. With a zero percent tariff and relaxed rules for low volume imports, access to the Japanese market can’t possibly be easier. Instead U.S. carmakers received what they silently wanted but rarely publicly admitted: U.S. import tariffs, especially the chicken tax that protects the highly profitable U.S. truck industry, will stick around for a long, long time.
“We have agreed to scrap U.S. tariffs on cars gradually over the longest feasible period,” said economy minister Akira Amari, Japan’s point man on the TPP talks.
At the same time “Japan’s sensitivity on agricultural products” will be recognized. Key agricultural items, such as rice, will be exempted from tariff eliminations.