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Japan's about-face on trade talks with U.S. raises questions at home

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"forced to make more concessions"...... what? Show me a concession that has been made to date that has caused damage any of Japan's domestic markets. They mention the number of cars Japan produces in the U.S. being double of other locations but all the major car manufacturers produce in the USA. In a NY minute the USA would agree to a full Free Trade Agreement with Japan without exception.... so really, who's making "concessions"?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Tokyo appears to have acquiesced to Washington and moved away from exploring a multilateral approach to trade issues as U.S. President Donald Trump is demanding a bilateral deal to fix imbalanced trade.

Appears? What choice does it have really?

Expected demands from Washington include tariff cuts on beef, on which Japan imposes a 38.5 percent tariff except for imports from countries already having a bilateral accord with Japan, according to experts. Japan has repeatedly said it cannot accept more than what has already been agreed to under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral framework from which the United States has withdrawn

Right and those tarrifs are expected to go down by the time my grandchildren, not yet in primary school, have graduated college! What a joke!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Open the markets, pretty sure no one will want the damaged not very tasty foods that America grows. The only good fresh food I can think of is oranges from California.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

To all those that think Japan needs or would want very little of what the USA has to sell..... really? Why do think Japan does not want a FTA with the USA.... because they know that eventually those making less money in Japan will start buying less expensive U.S. food products and that over time they'll become more and more accepted. U.S. rice, fruits and nuts, beef, processed foods, medicine, wood products, and on. Sure many of them are inferior to Japanese products but quite often you don't need the best. Yeah.... open the markets... and watch what happens.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

Give me California or Ozzie rice at 3000 yen for 30 kilos....please!!

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Lol as if they ever had a choice. I don't understand this ignorance regarding being an american colony. Quite laughable actually.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

While I hate trump, I am not unhappy with his approach to get Japan play some ball....hopefully.

Japan has pulled the wool over the eyes of the rest of the world for well over 4 decades now, about time Japan start actually opening up some more!

Thing is as decades pass the markets here will shrink & shrink & like auto's now the question will be is Japan worth the bother

Hopefully trump can make progress here, CANT believe I just wrote that! I still want him outta the white house ASAP tho!!

0 ( +9 / -9 )

While I hate trump, I am not unhappy with his approach to get Japan play some ball....hopefully.

Japan has pulled the wool over the eyes of the rest of the world for well over 4 decades now, about time Japan start actually opening up some more!

exactly how I feel. Hit the nail on the head GW!

Under the TPP, Japan will incrementally lower its beef tariff to 9 percent over 16 years after the accord takes effect.

Meanwhile the rest of the TPP has to lower their tariffs immediately. This is why I hate the TPP. Its a Japan only win trade agreement- and when I mean Japan only, I mean the Japanese establishment. We the consumers living here don't benefit at all.

Right and those tarrifs are expected to go down by the time my grandchildren, not yet in primary school, have graduated college! What a joke!

exactly! And that's why I am 100% against the TPP

To all those that think Japan needs or would want very little of what the USA has to sell..... really? Why do think Japan does not want a FTA with the USA.... because they know that eventually those making less money in Japan will start buying less expensive U.S. food products and that over time they'll become more and more accepted. U.S. rice, fruits and nuts, beef, processed foods, medicine, wood products, and on. Sure many of them are inferior to Japanese products but quite often you don't need the best. Yeah.... open the markets... and watch what happens.

EXACTLY! let the free market decide.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Basic and original idea of trade is a country imports things they do not have and export what they have extra and both are benefited and become happy. Today, the scale of trade expanded too wide and larger and wipe out a country's industries. Rules are necessary about world trade.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Even as Japanese officials dismiss the view, a future Japan-U.S. trade agreement on goods will, in effect, be a free trade agreement that Tokyo has been reluctant to negotiate.

LDP trying to save face by calling it a trade agreement on goods ' ...pathetic.

If the U.S. trade deficit is the problem, buying more liquefied natural gas or defense equipment will be a viable option for that matter," said Junichi Makino,

Great, so just spend even more of our tax money on overpriced radar systems and such just to continue protect LDP,s inefficient farming sector votes and corporate cronies profits ...lets raise the sales tax a bit more for everyone to pay for it, shall we? ...and dont forget to ' gaman a bit more Taro ' , sorry we don,t have money to improve your medical and social care...gotta buy some more weapons from Donny instead.

Japan has repeatedly said it cannot accept more than what has already been agreed to under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multilateral framework from which the United States has withdrawn.

Under the TPP, Japan will incrementally lower its beef tariff to 9 percent over 16 years after the accord takes effect.

Fantastic, only 16 years... we might be able to buy some cheap US beef before we die , if lucky....

New trade negotiations may take years despite U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer hoping for an "early harvest." 

Or maybe not, as the Japanese side will obviously try to drag out the negotiations in the hope ( justified ) that Donny will be out of office way before then. ....great.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Tokyo appears to have acquiesced to Washington and moved away from exploring a multilateral approach to trade issues as U.S. President Donald Trump is demanding a bilateral deal to fix imbalanced trade.

Which only makes sense when you realise the democrats have no interest in the TPP either, at least if Clinton has any say behind the scenes which im sure she does. Either way, it seems the U.S wont be part of the TPP or RCEP and if they cant get their act together on free trade deals and very fast, the U.S will be sidelined.

Its one thing to take China to task, which is absolutely necessary, its another to ignore the rest of the world, especially South America and Asia. That's just dumb.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If America is not imposing tariffs against the rules. It is their freedom. Let them do it. Trade partners have to manage within the given conditions.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What Abe can do, honestly ? Japan is too big and complex for Abe.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Mr.Abe must betrayal his country! If you are being the Prime Minister of Japan, what else can you do? Japan needs US protection and Japan cannot say NO to Uncle Trump

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan can still massage the rules and protect the hometeam by keeping its currency cheap. When Japanese sell in the US for dollars they don't convert to yen, rather buy oil or treasuries or other dollar based assets. This keeps demand for yen lower and thus cheaper. In essence the high quality Toyota you buy in the US is underpriced relative to its quality. US consumer wins on one hand but US labor loses on the other.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Trump has a gun in his pocket. Hope Abe never has to face it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Akie: "Trump has a gun in his pocket. Hope Abe never has to face it."

Wow! That is a "loaded" comment! I personally think Trump is too old to be "shooting" his gun.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe chose trade as his first topic in his address, taking time to explain the contributions of Japanese automakers to the United States, a major auto market.

They always play this card. But what if Japan were to actually follow through on their thinly veiled threat and 'run home and take the ball with them'.

Japan would go bankrupt, hundreds of thousands of job losses both in Japan and the U.S, and the American auto-market would happily fill the vacuum. In fact, I think the American auto-makers would welcome such a move.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I don't care how much Abe is closer to Trump because any top-leader has a duty to diplomatically get better approaches. The real point that Japan is very protectionist about rice, Japan govt. has compromised years ago to protect the rice agricultural farmers, and it means the prices are higher to compare with other countries, and the imported ones are so cheap to the Japanese standard. So, the taxation becomes very high to balance the Japanese prices. Just thing in USA the price of beef from Brazil is 1/4 cheaper and the quality the same, the equality to the domestic prices is inevitable with the balance of taxation. Is Abe really explaining well to Trump or he is only visiting him to another "fast food" at that Trump's "Empire" building?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I think people missed my point on my last comment, let the market decide.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Open the markets, pretty sure no one will want the damaged not very tasty foods that America grows. The only good fresh food I can think of is oranges from California.

Yes open the maket, and let people decide for themselves.

Certainly, in my experience, Japanese food is generally expensive, and not of the best quality.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I believe we may actually see cheaper agricultural products in the future, as the threat of auto tariffs will force Japan's hand to make concessions.

quote from an Asahi article

"But if U.S. officials feel that Japan is dragging its feet in the TAG negotiations, they could once again decide to suspend those talks, implement the high tariffs and even pressure Tokyo into opening up its market to U.S. farm imports."

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201809270033.html

quote from the Nikkei

"Depending on how the talks go, the Trump administration could look to put pressure on Japan over autos again. Wednesday's joint statement says that U.S. "market access outcomes in the motor vehicle sector will be designed to increase production and jobs in the United States."

Shares in Toyota, Nissan Motor and Honda Motor all declined on Thursday. Nobuyuki Kashihara of Asset Management One cited "concern that automakers will be forced to increase production or employment in the U.S."

"Japan's duties on agricultural products will be a focal point of the talks. Wednesday's joint statement stipulates that the outcomes "reflected in Japan's previous economic partnership agreements" -- in other words, the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- "constitute the maximum level" of market access it will offer in that area.

"Whether the U.S. will accept these terms for its powerful agricultural sector once negotiations actually begin is unclear.

Tokyo "sacrificed the farming sector to avoid the auto tariffs," a senior official at a Japanese agricultural industry group said, adding that "farmers will be furious."

https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Trade-War/Trump-and-Abe-shake-hands-on-trade-but-stumbling-blocks-remain

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"....pretty sure no one will want the damaged not very tasty foods that America grows."

When I first stepped foot in Japan, the Japanese said the same thing about American oranges, which were nearly effectively banned thanks to quotas. Real orange juice was extremely rare and exorbitantly expensive when you did find it. The Japanese were drinking fake orange powder mixes as "juice" and they and the Japanophile apologists claimed they were happy doing so.

Then the Reagan-Bush administrations got really ugly over trade negotiations and strong-armed the Japanese to accept the US fruit. When I returned shortly after, the Japanese were all drinking real orange juice, at a 100 yen a carton. The chemical powders made at industrial Japanese factories were quickly forgotten.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To JeffLee:

If you say that, what is Coca Cola bottlers Fanta orange many Japanese children drink at fast food restaurants?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If the Japanese agricultural system was overhauled to allow larger and more efficient production then this might be a non-issue. Odd that Trump is the one helping Japanese consumers, not Abe.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Odd that Trump is the one helping Japanese consumers, not Abe.

Yes, it does seem odd, but there again, most Japanese have been hoodwinked for years.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A win-win is always the best goal, not a "my country first" attitude. Given the incompetence of the man in the White House, I am not optimistic.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

“Under the TPP, Japan will incrementally lower its beef tariff to 9 percent over 16 years after the accord takes effect.”

Trump should be telling Abe that America will be imposing an immediate 25% across the board tariff on cars and parts imported from Japan to indicate in no uncertain terms that America is no longer prepared to let things slide. Japan’s sincerity will be measured by it’s taking practical steps to scrap much of the plethora of rules and regulations which serve to quarantine the country from foreign competition and the shrinking of the bloated trade surplus which will surely follow in the wake of that. Good faith will be rewarded and Japan can look forward to more favorable treatment later. There is no other way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese small farming is a way of life much valued in Japanese culture. IMO, American mega-corporation agribusinesses should not be allowed to do to Japan what they have done to America.....destroy most of the family farms and ranches, while raping the environment.

Aside from the issue of allowing giant agri-businesses preferential treatment in Japan, there is the issue of what American style farming does to the oceans. There are large dead zones in the coasts around America, caused mostly by the overuse of fertilizers and pesticides. Japan, and most of the rest of the world, does not currently have these dead zones in the oceans. If American farming practices prevail, will the oceans be able to survive?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The brown stuff at the end of Abe Shinzo's nose has now made it into his mouth. MAGA. Too bad Abe cannot make Japan great again through Trump toadyism.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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