U.S. trade policy deplorable, says Japan

By Scott Olson

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Do it, call Trumps bluff.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

South Korea got the exemption because it had bilateral talks with the US and agreed, among other things, to open its auto market. If Japan refuses to sit down with the US one-on-one, for fear of being compelled to open "sensitive" areas of its market, then it can expect the harsh treatment to continue from this administration.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Last month, Tokyo informed the WTO it had the right to impose tariffs worth 50 billion yen ($456 million) on American goods -- equivalent to the impact of the U.S. tariffs newly imposed on Japanese steel and aluminum products.

If it continues, each countries will suffer tariffs from the US, and the US will suffer tariffs from all the other countries combined.

Meaning : (no more) jobs ! Jobs ! Jobs !

6 ( +11 / -5 )

You know when your lap dog (Japan) is grunting at you (US)... you really making a big big mess.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

The U.S. congress has been slowly selling the American public out. What's been the strategy to keep steel and other manufacturing healthy there? It's been a sell out. Have you seen pictures of Detroit? Congress has been borrowing money from social security for decades, and not asking the people if they could. The system, especially now under Trump, isn't about supporting industries, it's about industries supporting congress. Remember what Don said to our Panama ambassador. "What's in Panama for us?" It's the same attitude Don has toward the American public. Depositors of cash in the U.S. casino. Yesterday I watch two multimillionaire American televangelists on youtube. Both own private jets, and huge gated mansions. One of them wants his flock to pay for for a new jet, costing 54 Million bucks. As he says, "If Jesus were around today, he wouldn't be traveling on a donkey." It was extraordinary to see the both of them together in a kitchen, while the other one said, (I paraphrase) "I can't fly on a public airplane...it's a long tube...filled with....demons!" I really see no difference between these jokers and the big boys in congress. Here's the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiHghDYvpBU

9 ( +12 / -3 )

South Korea got the exemption because it had bilateral talks with the US and agreed, among other things, to open its auto market

3 ( +8 / -5 )

South Korea got the exemption because it had bilateral talks with the US and agreed, among other things, to open its auto market,  annual import cap was 25,000 cars per company in order to exempt an automaker from safety rules they find onerous. South Korea has agreed to raise that limit to 50,000 cars per company, in 2017 Ford exported 10,727 cars to South Korea, Fiat Chrysler sold 7,284. General Motors 2,000 Cadillacs. So its clear that Koreans dont want American cars as much as Japanese dont . the rules change is hardly earth moving. Korea like Japan has said other than the rule change American companies will have to market their vehicle  by themselves just like MB, BMZ, Audi do in Japan and are very successful at. you can lead a horse to water but you cant force it to drink.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Trade Wars never turn out well, for either side, protectionism in the modern era is doomed to fail, especially considering the global nature of trade and the interest foreign companies have in local markets now! Trump may well have said he's protecting his workers but in the long run, but thats based solely on an assumption that the rest of the world, and mainly China, will roll over and accept what he's doing! That's a big gamble, America needs to face up to the fact it is no longer the workshop of the world and engage with its international partners instead of fighting them!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"extremely deplorable"!!! Lol.

Japan knows it has a good thing going for the past 50 years and don't want to ruin it!!!

10 ( +12 / -2 )

did Japan ever file the complaint with the WTO?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Not surprised this is coming from Japanese politicians - Japan and China have both had a great ride on the back of America and other Western Nations, heavily devalued currencies favoured trade policies, Japan's internal economy is stagnant and highly reliant on its export market and where do the bulk of these exports end up - America and Western Countries.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Hmmmmm...... rice is how much in Japan? Oh no.... but Japanese rice is worth it.... it is so, so much better than any rice in the rest of the world. Japanese beef..... actually when you think about Japanese beef, really good beef, it is half fat. Mind you, I like it, but a lot of Japanese people don't..... it is too fatty. So why not let in foreign beef without charging extra tariffs. And why can't I buy a nice Chevy Camaro for Y3.5 million..... why do they all seem to cost Y5.0 million or more? I call BS on Japanese trade policies.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

'Deplorable'!! policy, from the bunch.

Hahaha, translator has a good sense of humour!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Pot calling the kettle black!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

America runs huge trade deficits with it’s trading partners, which would not happen if everyone were on a level playing field. Normally such deficits would eventually be counterbalanced in the currency exchange markets, but with central banks playing fast and loose with their currencies, the markets are distorted, and trade cannot become balanced.

Japan has been one of the worst offenders. Since 1995, Japan has implemented 18 bouts of fiscal “stimulus” to try to jumpstart the economy, but the main reason was to keep the yen weak, and help to keep imports out.

Sky-high agricultural tariffs price American food out of competition, weak currency and price-fixing keep other American goods priced out of competition.

Japan has never done fair trade, and has always been able to get its way in the past. But it looks like that’s not going to work anymore. With Japan’s current fiscal, economic, and demographic problems, it cannot win even a trade battle, let alone a war.

Trump is playing with fire here, and America can easily get burned. But It would be a conflagration to Japan.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

If everyone wants free trade, then let’s see it.

I am sick of hearing about political sensitive items.

America is making a play here, they will drop their new tariffs if others drop their existing tariffs.

The risk is that the ploy fails because no one actually wants more free trade. America should be calling this out clearly - drop your tariffs or else.

Hope it works. I want more consumer choice.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

You know what i find deplorable?...the ransom prices we have to pay for all kinds of agricultural and farm produce here in Japan....How about that Suga?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Both the stories of the potential demise of the world economy due to protectionism, and those of domestic subsidies and protections for domestic industry interest the Japanese public in different ways, that's why the media and politicians can talk about both and not have to make a connection.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@marcelito, I couldn't agree more. Yesterday, I bought a watermelon imported into Canada from Mexico. It cost 350 yen. When I compare that price to what I've seen in Japan (and Japanese watermelons are no better tasting), I shake my head at how difficult it must be for the ordinary Japanese family to make ends meet when it comes to the basic necessity of food.

And @SaikoPsycho, your comment about Japanese beef being fatty is spot-on. I would never serve it in my home.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan needs to offer a carrot or it can expect more stick.

In the end, is it worth it?

Japans steel and aluminium exports amount to less than $1 billion a year for a country with a GDP of several trillion. Making a storm in a teacup for no good reason. Japan has to come to the table with something. Trump is not going to cave without some sort of win. His ego won't allow it. And the American people know they have been taken for a ride for ages.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And why can't I buy a nice Chevy Camaro for Y3.5 million..... why do they all seem to cost Y5.0 million or more?

In England, they start at GBP 31,700 (4.6 million yen).


3.5 million yen is just short of GBP 23,900, and it ain't happening.

So we have learned something here. The US price is the price in the US - not some kind of global standard.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

US oil production broke an all-time record this week. America is on it’s way to becoming energy self-sufficient. America produces an excess of food, as well as excesses of raw materials for all forms of manufacturing. America is one of a small number of countries in the world which can be entirely self-sufficient, and the only one which can do it and maintain a large-scale economy.

Japan is not self-sufficient in any regard, except for political hot wind.

America can easily be harmed by a trade war, Japan’s economy can be utterly destroyed.

There is more to the story in America than is obvious. Everyone knows that Trump has lowered the corporate tax rate, but what most people don’t know is how quicky Trump is deregulating the American economy. The primary reason that American companies have moved manufacturing and other services offshore is not labor cost, but the cost of regulation. With these costs coming down, and the corporate rate being lowered, Trump is trying to draw business back to America.

I am very much against tariffs in any way, shape, or form, but I don’t see Trump playing the tariff card. His hand is so strong that other partners should fold, or risk losing. Japan is irrelevant in this game, Trump knows Abe and Aso are holding a pair of deuces.

There main threat of free trade with America would to the LDP, which uses tariffs to buy the rural vote. Ending agricultural tariffs would end the LDP’s monopoly on power. Japan’s business culture would have to change, and become competitive. Japan Inc has never liked to compete. Inside Japan, they collude and fix prices, on the outside they rely on the LDP to broker one-sided trade deals, and to keep the yen weak.

If I were Abe, I would not use the word “deplorable” around Trump. Trump can sink Abe, the LDP, and Japan’s entire economy with a few strokes of his pen. And there has never been a US president who is more likely to use that pen. If Abe was losing sleep over Japan’s already considerable problems, I would hate to see how little he is getting now.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

In England, they start at GBP 31,700 (4.6 million yen).

Including VAT?

Do you remember what happened to the prices of imported cars in Japan when the yen strengthened some 40% against the dollar and euro?

Nothing happened, the sticker prices remained unchanged.

A new Ford or Mercedes Benz cost as much in Japan at 76 yen to the dollar than it did when the rate was 130 yen to the dollar.

Is that fair?

When the dollar or euro strengthen against the yen, the sticker prices for Japanese cars in America and Europe immediately fall.

As I said in a previous post, trade imbalances result in currency imbalances. These imbalances are normally evened out in a free market. Japan’s market is not free.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The U.S. government's trade measures, citing its security, makes us concerned that they could disrupt the global market," Suga told reporters.

I think what Suga really means is that it will disrupt Japans market.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Including VAT?

No, VAT's optional if you don't fancy paying it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not only the tariffs, it is Japan's hidden trade barriers, set in place to restrict and inhibit the entry of American products, thus greatly driving up the cost. These trade barriers are more detrimental to free trade than the tariffs themselves.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Thus America is Japan’s past and China is Japan’s future

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

America first; rest of the world go to hell.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Every country has a right to protect their workers and industries.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Friends today, enemies tomorrow...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As trade stops with the USA, trade will increase with China. Soon, very soon America will find itself alone. No friends in the middle of a deep depression. America can not win by itself and it is this ancient thinking that will lead to its downfall. I am waiting for the formation of the North American Union, post USA.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

YuriOtani, Abe only has himself to blame. China is next door and has three times market as US potentially. Japan should occupy Chinese market long ago before any other nations, given the proximity and cultural similarity. Just imagine the automobile market from almost zero to the No 1 in the world and only if Japan instead of Germany and US dominated it since 40 years ago, you can be assured to sleep for next 40 years soundly without any troubles if you don't need to eat anything to survive. Just look back 5 years under Abe, how many brand name from Sony to Sharp were destroyed ? The greatest threat to Japan is Abe's stupidity.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ithink that Japan shout be more open to American cars. No one is going to buy them anyway apart from a few. You see fat more Europe cars on the roads than American.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan, of all countries, calling someone's trade policies deplorable kinda made me chuckle

3 ( +3 / -0 )

We are paying 500 yen for a cucumber because Japan refuses to import vegetables to protect their under performing and undeserving right-wing farmers, THAT is deplorable!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Do not blame Trump, Blame the last 3 Presidents! Trump only wants free and fair trade. Study people, if you don't like what Trump is doing then you certainly didn't like what Clinton, Bush and Obama's failed trade policies did to the U.S.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan knows it has a good thing going for the past 50 years and don't want to ruin it!!!

Thats right! Japan would be a 3rd world country without the U.S. propping her up.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

8T, it is more like America would be a third world country without China and other Asian countries propping it up.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japan, like many other Asian countries, is basically a giant factory for the West. This has not changed for the last 70 years.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Oil is likely to stay in the $60-$70 range as the US ramps up production to be the first or second largest producer in a year or two. Fracking works at under $40 per barrel now that the producers in the US went to new technology to counter the Saudi attempt to force US producers into bankruptcy. Instead the US drillers went to high tech and lowered costs dramatically, which stopped the Saudi attempt to put them out of business. The IMF says at below $40 most other oil producing nations are not able to cover their financial needs, so US drillers are well insulated from major price declines below their costs going forward. That means the US has much cheaper energy than the rest of the world, and now, under Trump, is becoming a major exporter of LNG and even oil.  That means more exports, more jobs, means more revenue for the US government, and a dent in the trade deficit.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Never thought I would write this but Japan needs to make a peace treaty with the Russian Federation. Even if this does not include the return of the northern territories. Russian gas and oil is more important than 4 or so frozen islands. Trump could impose more tariffs on Japan at any time. Trump has put a knife into the back of Japan. Soon Trump will place a 25 percent tariff on Japanese vehicles. Trump is why Japan needs to repair relations with China and Russia and then kick the US military out of Japan. The best way to peace is not to have enemies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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