Now that the U.S. and Japan have agreed on a watered-down version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations (America will keep its beloved chicken tax for at least another decade, Japan will protect its rice farmers from the evils of cheap American rice,) negotiations between the EU and Japan about a trade pact are getting underway, with considerably less drama. (Read More…)
In Europe, EU commissioners received the green light to start negotiations for an EU-Japan free trade agreement (FTA), despite the complaints of the auto industry, notably the one in Italy, and PSA in France, Reuters reports. Japan is the EU’s third-largest trading partner after the United States and China, and the architects of the FTA hope for 400,000 new jobs to be created in Europe as a result of the agreement. (Read More…)
Imagine what happened if the representative of a large Japanese or Chinese car company would demand that America should close some car factories before easier access to foreign markets would be contemplated. All hell would break loose, and the Seventh Fleet would steam in the direction of the loose cannon – if it is not already there. What happens if the representative of Ford says that Japan should be required to reduce the size of its auto industry before being allowed into regional free trade talks with the United States and eight other countries in the Asia Pacific? Business as usual. (Read More…)
For a long time, Japan’s automakers had pressured their government to enter free trade talks with Europe and the U.S. The Japanese government had dragged its heels, putting the interest of ageing farmers first. With a trade agreement, Japan would be a ripe market for American rice farmers and cattle breeders, and I would finally be able to enjoy a good steak in Japan without risking a heart attack. Caused by the price, not by the cholesterol.
After the Japanese car industry did flee the strong yen and the country, its government reluctantly entered negotiations. Not surprisingly, the American car industry is opposed. (Read More…)
The Japanese car market is anything but closed, Toshiyuki Shiga, chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association said yesterday. Vis-a-vis The Nikkei [sub], Shiga basically repeated what we had said all along, and he used the same line of reasoning that doesn’t seem to register with some blockheaded parties:
“Import duties are zero, and there are no regulations or procedures that block American cars. European vehicle imports are increasing.”
Shiga should know. He is COO of Nissan, which quietly turned into Japan’s largest car importer on a brand basis for the year, only to fall back to number 2 in October on strong imports of the Volkswagen Group. Shiga also asked the same question which I always use, usually without receiving an answer: (Read More…)