Aso pushes back against U.S. pressure for bilateral trade deal

By Leika Kihara

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LDP have been in charge of the economy for 70+ years, things are good its because of them, things are bad= foreign caused problem. Core problems in the economy are not talked about let alone addressed. One major problem are 70 year old men refusing to acknowledge change and being in their positions solely due to age, and club ties. would be nice to have a dynamic and transparent government.

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Tokyo fears a two-way agreement would expose it to stronger U.S. pressure to open up politically-sensitive markets like agriculture and beef. But what about all the other things? I am amazed at the difference in prices of things on "Amazon.com" compared to "Amazon.co.jp" . Prices on the American site are often 10 to 13 times cheaper for the exact same item. Why? And Japan refuses to let you send it here direct. You have to mail it to a stateside address first which is a hassle.

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The quote aspect here is not working correctly. It took my second paragraph and added it to the quote. :-(

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As Finance Minster, the question Taro Aso needs to fully address is his role in financial reforms whilst his policies reveal government spending is way in excess of the revenue it receives. The Aso effect is unproductive since his policies neither adds to the wealth of the forty percent working poor, nor enables SME's to enlarge their production capacity. A change in government spending or taxes reform is secondary to maintaining unsustainable government budget deficits.

What is more telling, Taro Aso put all his eggs in one basket, relying on TPP to cure most, if not all of Japan economic woes. With the TPP multilateral agreement magic carpet pulled out for under Taro Aso economic and monetary policy, exposed is Japan agriculture, and food and beef markets, all at the mercy of direct uncompromising competition, an inescapable factor of the bilateral FTA agreements, it's two-way, or no-way.

There is no avoiding a bilateral free-trade agreement, not with Wilbur Ross, United States Secretary of Commerce circling overhead and the promised renegotiation of Nafta looming.

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Taro Aso said that under TPP, Japan was able to accede to more U.S. demands as it could make up for the losses through agreements with other countries

That statement suggests that the TPP was a great deal for Japan once the USA dropped out. If so, why isn't Aso pushing hard to get the TPP implemented by the remaining countries as soon as possible?

I think Aso is talking nonsense (as usual). If he refuses to negotiate he might find that tariffs on Japanese imports to the USA increase.

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Seems good ole Taro is at it again. Every year Japan has some manufactured shortage of something that they could easily import. Hope he doesnt like potato chips as that is the one for this year. Just deal with it, TPP is dead and gone as far as the USA is concerned. You can still do that that deal with everyone else if you like.

Im in agreement with @scrote, it makes no sense what he is saying anyway. Sounds like TPP would have been worse for Japan is USA was in it because they were having to screw other countries to meet the demands of the USA.

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So, according to Taro Aso, TPP was acceptable because even though they would have had to acquiesce to the US on some trade issues, they could have bullied or ripped off the other smaller weaker countries who were also part of the deal! Of course they don't want sign a bilateral agreement as they know they will be forced to lower the ridiculously high tariffs they are forcing on food products like butter, beef, potatoes, etc.

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Also, I could really punch that mug on Taro Aso in the picture above! I hate the kind of sneer smile he always has!

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Anyone unfamiliar with Hyottoko, please look that up quickly, and then see if I'm right in seeing Aso's in a blue and white polka dot head scarf, doing a silly dance.

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"The economy is likely to do well ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, so it will be easier to raise the sales tax,"

Yeah, for a couple of months preceding and the time during the Olympics. Immediately after Tokyo will crash, and the tax hike won't cover it. We'll just be paying more tax while shouldering more debt. But hey, Aso will be richer... still won't be able to to read Kanji, but he'll have made a mint.

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Japan has less room to compromise with the United States under a bilateral trade deal than under a multilateral agreement

They didn't think this through

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America knows aso is old so he will be gone soon. the nodding donkey, ishihara jr will replace him. its a waiting game.

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So to protect a relatively small industry, which will still be able to live out a life as a niche top end product (beef, fruit, etc.) the Govt wants to shoot Japan in the foot by denying greater and cheaper access to USA markets for industries many times the size of agriculture. Smart....

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Competition is good for everybody. Not everyone could afford to eat Kobe beef and insane priced fruits.

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In a bilateral deal, you can't do that. You can't get back what you lose from a compromise

There's something inherently wrong with this statement. Yes, a compromise means you take some and give some, and in the context of a fair bilateral trade, that's just stating the obvious. But for Aso to think that it's bad for Japan to give up something in a bilateral trade shows they don't want fair trade. If anything the TPP benefits them in a way that unfair trade deals are less in the spotlight due to it being multilateral (fine prints and red tape). The reason why Japan kept delaying the initial TPP discussions was that they didn't want to open up some of their sectors to anyone. So I don't believe the "make up for losses with other countries" argument.

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Japan, stop making cars for this country.. I quit. (after I figured out the whole map for them) Job over!

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