By on October 5, 2015


Twelve countries, including the United States, reached an agreement Monday on an historic trade agreement that could economically tie together more than 400 million people in Asian Pacific and American countries. The pact would cover trade for wide ranging products, from rice to pharmaceutical drugs to cars.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which negotiators have been working on for eight years, would thaw trade relations among countries included in the regional zone, including Japan and the United States. For automakers in both countries, the tentative deal includes provisions for Japanese automakers to (eventually) bring light-duty trucks to the U.S. For American automakers, part of the proposed agreement included a side deal between America and Japan to allow access for U.S. automakers to traditionally closed Japanese markets.

The agreement faces an uphill battle to get congressional approval; House Republicans and presidential candidates already have roundly dismissed the deal.

The full text of the accord won’t be available for another month, according to the New York Times.

According to reports, the deal won’t include any sort of currency devaluation agreement to keep countries from artificially driving down costs on their own exports. Separate agreements between individual countries would need to be made.

The trade agreement could include provisions for cars produced in partner countries that could be exported duty-free. For cars and trucks produced in the North American Free Trade Agreement zone, those vehicles would need to include 62.5 percent of its parts sourced within the region to be sold without high tariffs.

Opponents on both sides say the deal could compromise jobs in the U.S. and that the agreement ignores human rights violations in some countries.

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43 Comments on “Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Reached, Let’s All Buy Subaru Sambars...”

  • avatar

    “… Let’s All Buy Subaru Sambars.”

    Ha ha – you first!

    I imagine southern California will be full of them in a year or so, though. Looks like a heavy-duty alternative to the Transit Connect, so it may just find a good market here. Time will tell.

    • 0 avatar

      Could that ever meet our safety regs? Is there an out from those for purely commercial vehicles?

      Like, do they test cab-over recycle trucks for frontal collision performance?

    • 0 avatar

      Scumbag, treasonous piece of sh!t politicians are selling, and have been selling, the formerly large “American Class” off since the 1970s, beginning with MFN for China and NAFTA, and this is just the latest corporate (complex that literally owns “elections” and “elected representatives” ) concentration of power coupe to further sell what’s left of the “middle class” out.

      Criticism (fair and accurate) from the right:

      Criticism (fair and accurate) from the left:

      It’s time to sharpen the guillotines and cut off many heads, assuming the American People can be bothered to become enraged, as larger swaths of the population are nursed on the mother’s milk of SNAP/EBT, AFDC, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, etc., etc., etc.

      • 0 avatar

        Iceland is looking nicer and nicer.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m with DW on this one.

        Does this mean I can go to Asia, import currently produced two stroke motorcycles, and sell them in California ? If I get this right, I can then SUE California/the US in a private corporate Court for potential lost revenue if they bother me about “pollution”.

        I wonder who has the old Honda MR 250 tooling ? I’d like to sell those bad boys for $1200 each and make a fortune…..

        Ring….ding….the smell of Golden Spectro in the air, and the NOx of a million TDi, just for a beer run. Best of all, a Cause of Action against the USA and a good shot at getting a check from the Government !!!

        What could go wrong ? :)

      • 0 avatar

        “It’s time to sharpen the guillotines and cut off many heads, assuming the American People can be bothered to become enraged, as larger swaths of the population are nursed on the mother’s milk of SNAP/EBT, AFDC, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, etc., etc., etc.”

        Forget about all those programs when starting a war with Iran will hook the people and make them forget about their problems. IT ALWAYS WORKS!

      • 0 avatar

        “It’s time to sharpen the guillotines and cut off many heads, assuming the American People can be bothered to become enraged, as larger swaths of the population are nursed on the mother’s milk of SNAP/EBT, AFDC, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, etc., etc., etc.”

        If you want to go back to the days of Upton Sinclair, be my guest. Just know that you won’t have any companions on your one-way trip.

  • avatar

    So when the tariffs are relaxed, doesn’t the incentive for the Japanese makers to have these huge factories and build the cars in the US get relaxed as well?

    I can’t see much use for those little micro trucks here, really. We already have the Transit and the ProMastodon thing. Plus, there are already those little Chinese micro trucks here for landscaping and college campus use.

    PS. Korea has just as many of these little trucks as Japan.

    • 0 avatar

      Honda already is a net exporter of American cars.

      The most realistic scenario is that we’ll see a lot more American-made Hondas and Toyotas being exported to Japan. Already Japan faces higher labor costs, a shortage of labor, and higher energy costs. While it may bring higher supply chain flexibility, Japanese production will continue to be shifted to North America.

      Also, kei-cars stand little to no chance in the US, much like how American Camry’s and Accords stand little chance in Japan other than being niche vehicles. Japanese production will likely be further devoted to keis and ultra compacts that only Japanese will buy, and North American production will become devoted to everything else.

  • avatar

    just what we need – more duty free imports.

    Why did we bail out GM again?

  • avatar

    Let the giant sucking sound continue…

  • avatar

    Well things have been just peachy since the last major international trade treaty, march forth the abyss!

  • avatar

    Politics free/fair trade stuff aside, I wonder whether this would allow Toyota to import some more basic no-frills Land Cruisers and Hiluxes, maybe some Mitsubishi L200s state-side…. I can dream can’t I?

    • 0 avatar

      The Hilux is made in Thailand, not Japan. As of now, Thailand is not part of the TPP. (The previous prime minister wanted to join, but there has been a military coup since then and it is unclear if the ruling junta shares that agenda.)

    • 0 avatar

      Manual L200 = Bad A$$!

      I don’t like this idea, how would we source headgaskets for the Sambar?

    • 0 avatar

      Strangely enough last time I was down near Nashville Indiana, I saw not one but two totally new Hiluxes just cruising down the street. My best guess is that there is a vehicle armorer/contractor somewhere nearby that must do some work for PMCs deploying to the Middle East. For American tastes, the Tacoma is probably a better fit (softer riding). I guess I’m more interested in a Land Cruiser of some sort anyways, the 30th anniversary re-release of the LandCruiser 70 was totally awesome. The motors are the same as our US 4.0L Tacomas, but the crash testing would do them in, unless there’s some sort of commercial vehicle loophole.

  • avatar

    “The agreement faces an uphill battle to get congressional approval; House Republicans and presidential candidates already have roundly dismissed the deal.”

    Yep. Bernie doesn’t like it one bit.

  • avatar

    It wouldn’t be so bad if it actually made an attempt to address the fact that these countries have such low wages compared to the US that shipment by super container ships makes it highly profitable. The argument is that the TPP will resolve some of these disputes and issues by forcing the partners to address human rights violations and allow all workers to unionize which if enforced would be a dramatic change in the SE Asian economy.

    But the TPP is setup as a bloc against China in particular. It’s unlikely to pass as Republicans are in favor of it on paper being complete free trade fanatics but they resent Obama enough to slit their own throats in the name of scoring points.

    • 0 avatar

      Speculation is welcome but the truth is the contents of the treaty are not public.

      Of course MSM claims a piece was leaked:

      “The Trans-Pacific Partnership — a cornerstone of Mr. Obama’s remaining economic agenda — would grant broad powers to multinational companies operating in North America, South America and Asia. Under the accord, still under negotiation but nearing completion, companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.”

      Wait, broad power for multinationals? Say it ain’t so Barry.

      • 0 avatar

        The full text of the agreement must be made public for at least 60 days before Congress votes on it, so while the details may not be known now, they will be before anything actually happens.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t think I claimed full knowledge but there have been public debates on what is in it. The TPP installs a WTO-like organization which really rubs me the wrong way but this is right up your alley, 28. You should be pissing your pants in excitement that free trade gets to run over everybody.

        It’s hard to be a Republican and still argue free trade is good, isn’t it?

        I guess I should note, I’m actually against the TPP as a whole. I don’t want it passed as is and thankfully the Republicans are likely to do my dirty work. But victories are victories.

  • avatar

    Oh, don’t do this to me twice in one day…

    First the Littlest Angry Car and now the Cutiest Truckie.

    I’m dyin’ of twee over here

  • avatar

    “Twelve countries, including the United States, reached an agreement Monday on an historic trade agreement that could economically tie together more than 400 million people in Asian Pacific and American countries.”

    US is at 320 million and counting? So the other 11 countries are 80m combined?

  • avatar

    Is this an Asian Molester Van?

  • avatar

    Unfortunately, Subaru’s Kei production line has scrapped to give space for FT86/BRZ. Current line ups are sourced from Daihatsu.

    • 0 avatar

      Akio’s doing, ne? Abandoning a money-maker for something sporty that doesn’t sell?

      • 0 avatar

        The BRZ/86/FR-S roll down the same line as the Crosstrek. This is why I don’t think Subaru and Toyota are concerned about the sales level of the sports car. As the sports car ages and sales drop, like every other modern sports car, they change the production mix to more Crosstrek. Everyone wins. You get longer design cycles on the sports car, get to shift to high volume money makers when the sports car volume goes down, but still get to have a cheap sports car in the showroom.

        Akio isn’t totally off base with the halo effect, BTW. I own an FR-S, but there is a Rav4 in the other bay of the garage. If I didn’t have a kid, it could be an MX-5 in my bay and a CX-5 in the other.

        • 0 avatar

          That sounds smart and fortunate for a corporation with a 59 year-old adolescent at the helm.

          • 0 avatar

            I’m not sure I follow. He hasn’t quite hit Lutzian levels of pet projects that are complete sales flops and R&D black holes. His major indulgence is a joint venture sports car that is largely based on an existing platform, uses an engine that is very similar to the WRX/Forester turbo engine, and goes down the line with a high volume CUV.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I’m an advocate of trade pacts between nations.

    The people who consider it a right to protect in effective or uncompetitive industry aren’t looking at the reality of what can be offered with these trade pacts.

    A business/country must develop what it is good at, when I speak of good, good just doesn’t imply that the country can manufacture an item. It must be able to manufacture competitively.

    The scaremongering in some of these comments are from the Luddites.

    The US can profit from any trade pact. The manufacturing sector is morphing, across all industries. Even the services industry is morphing.

    In twenty years the way our economies function and the employment offered will change.

    If anyone has ever gone to a country fair you will see the “artisans” like blacksmiths, candlestick makers, tapestry, etc. These were all once middle class jobs of their era. Times have changed.

    We must change with the times or be left behind.

    The Europeans didn’t grasp during the onset of the manufacture of consumer goods. The US did. The US went ahead in leap and bounds.

    Many of the Luddite, comments in this article are the same as those Europeans who were scared of change, just like some you sorry people.

    If you can’t cook very well, you don’t open a restaurant, the same as a country, if you can’t manufacturer competitively then become innovative and search for work arounds.

    This is called progress, but Luddites aren’t reknown as progressives.

    • 0 avatar

      Even before this pact, the US was already the most open and friendly, meaningful market to import automakers. This goes one step beyond. You and Bertel Schmitt share the same attitude.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Read and learn a little. Canada even has a more liberal economy than the US.

    The US has only 51 vehicle brands available. That is for over 300 million people. Australia has 64, not counting the grey imports. Something lacking in the US. Imagine if someone really wanted a 3.2 diesel Mazda BT50 could buy one. But this ain’t so in the US, you can buy it, but you are not able to drive it on a public road. So much for freedom of choice.

    One thing though, you do have a million times the choice of junk and trash food outlets. That’s real freedom!

    Yes, Australia is one of the most competitive car markets in the world. For a relatively small market that comprises only 1.5 per cent of global automotive production, Australia has 67 vehicle brands and over 350 make/models of light vehicles. This is more brands than overseas markets such as the UK (53 brands), the US (51 brands) or Canada (49 brands).

    Study: the United States has a less open economy than Romania
    13 June 2013, Washington Post

    As for the rest of the leading G7 and G20 economies, Canada ranks 24th, Australian 27th, the UK 30th, Saudi Arabia 36th, France 37th, Republic of Korea 41st and the US 42nd.

    The two lowest scoring countries are the United States and Japan.





    Free Markets

    1 Hong Kong 89.6 -0.5 4 Australia 81.4 -0.6
    2 Singapore 89.4 0.0 5 Switzerland 80.5 -1.1

    Mostly Free

    6 Canada 79.1 -1.1 21 Luxembourg 73.2 -1.0
    7 Chile 78.5 -0.2 22 Georgia 73.0 +0.4
    8 Estonia 76.8 +0.9 23 Sweden 72.7 -0.4
    9 Ireland 76.6 +0.4 24 Czech Republic 72.5 +0.3
    10 Mauritius 76.4 -0.1 25 United Arab Emirates 72.4 +1.0
    11 Denmark 76.3 +0.2 26 Iceland 72.0 -0.4
    12 United States 76.2 +0.7 27 Norway 71.8 +0.9
    13 United Kingdom 75.8 +0.9 28 Colombia 71.7 +1.0
    14 Taiwan 75.1 +1.2 29 South Korea 71.5 +0.3
    15 Lithuania 74.7 +1.7 30 Austria 71.2 -1.2
    16 Germany 73.8 +0.4 31 Malaysia 70.8 +1.2
    17 The Netherlands 73.7 -0.5 32 Qatar 70.8 -0.4
    18 Bahrain 73.4 -1.7 33 Israel 70.5 +2.1
    19 Finland 73.4 0.0 34 Macau 70.3 -1.0
    20 Japan 73.3 +0.9 35 Saint Lucia 70.2 -0.5

    3 New Zealand 82.1 +0.9

    I do think you really need to leave the US, haven’t you been to Spain 36 times?? How’s your F Series car dealership. They need quite a few SuperDutys to drive around the quaint Spanish villages;)

    Leave the US and look at the world and stop living in the 50s and 60s.

    The US is the greatest country in the world…….but this doesn’t necessarily translate into the best.

    There are quite a few countries that can teach the US a thing or two about liberalising your economy so less government interference is used and the US will become more competitive.

    If the consumer wins, the nation wins.

    I do expect some lame ass comment that is not credible or verifiable from you, as usual.

    Open the links and actually read and digest the material within, you might learn something and you can move out of that little, tiny Winnepeg apartment with all of those pickup trucks blocking the road outside.

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