By on April 12, 2013

“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.

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11 Comments on “Protecting Rice And Chicken Tax, Japan And U.S. Agree On TPP Talks...”


  • avatar
    billfrombuckhead

    “Detroit’s auto makers were violently opposed to Japan’s accession.” Violently? Is Mulally going to go over the Japan and kick some butt with his hands or is time to bring out the AR-15′s?

  • avatar
    210delray

    Are those flies on the chickens?

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    I’m confused…the Reuters story is the exact opposite (that the US will ease the tariffs on Japanese exports arriving to our shores).

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-trade-asiapacific-japan-usabre93b0cp-20130412,0,1309387.story

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    In Australia there has been quite a few news articles relating to the political/lobbying strength of the Japanese rice farmers. Australia is a major rice exporter and the Japanese has eluded the importation of Australian rice.

    Their rice farms are inefficient and costs are 5 times higher per tonne than here to produce.

    It will be relatively easy for the Japanese to maintain Kei cars as their ‘preferred’ vehicle, increase fuel tax to force the use of these vehicles.

    With the current level of integration globally of the auto manufacturing industry (and agribusiness) can support the removal of these tariffs and trade barriers.

    These barriers create a less competitive industry and increase the costs of vehicles to the consumers.

    The world is becoming as one, and the nationalists in countries around the world will have to accept this.

    Short term pain for long term gain is needed.

  • avatar
    sti2m3

    Big Al from Oz:

    I tasted Aussie rice – it’s not bad.

    But the 5x less efficient rice that is made in Japan is 100x better.

    The time it takes and the inefficiencies that come with actually tilling by hand and not using huge industrial machines are well worth it to the Japanese people. Each local region has it’s own flavor and taste that is passed down for generations.

    I for one would hate to see the inefficient rice farmers go out of business.

    It’s like the Walmart vs. local stores issues – I for one prefer to protect the local stores if possible.

    But back to the car issue – if the US car makers actually made cars that fit Japanese roads and parking spaces (and Kei cars do very well) or create something that appeals even if it’s bigger (VWs did very well), we wouldn’t have this discussion.

    Plus Japan is also suffering from “I’d rather have an iPhone rather than a car” syndrome too. Why do you think Toyota is trying so hard to get young people to look at cars?

    Also, the real issue of TPP is this – US + Japan = threat to China’s economic engine.

    You can’t tell me that US + all the other TPP participants without Japan can even come close to fighting China. That’s why Japan’s demands are priority one to at least consider if it means they’ll join.

  • avatar
    sti2m3

    Big Al from Oz:

    I tasted Aussie rice – it’s not bad.

    But the 5x less efficient rice that is made in Japan is 100x better.

    The time it takes and the inefficiencies that come with actually tilling by hand and not using huge industrial machines are well worth it to the Japanese people. Each local region has it’s own flavor and taste that is passed down for generations.

    I for one would hate to see the inefficient rice farmers go out of business.

    It’s like the Walmart vs. local stores issues – I for one prefer to protect the local stores if possible.

    But back to the car issue – if the US car makers actually made cars that fit Japanese roads and parking spaces (and Kei cars do very well) or create something that appeals even if it’s bigger (VWs did very well), we wouldn’t have this discussion.

    Plus Japan is also suffering from “I’d rather have an iPhone rather than a car” syndrome too. Why do you think Toyota is trying so hard to get young people to look at cars?

    Also, the real issue of TPP is this – US + Japan = threat to China’s economic engine.

    You can’t tell me that US + all the other TPP participants without Japan can even come close to fighting China. That’s why Japan’s demands are priority one to at least consider if it means they’ll join.

  • avatar
    shaker

    I might have to try “inefficient” rice, rather than the stuff you have to boil for an hour in a gallon of water, then drain the arsenic out. :-(


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