politics

Japan, U.S. blame each other for snag in TPP talks

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Kick them both out and let the other 10 countries finalise the deal.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

US is being unconsiderate to Japan here. How can they compare on an equal footing many agriculture industries of Japan and US car industry? The food industries are far more important for the nation's existance.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

TPP was never supposed to include Japan. Japan decided to join in the treaty long after the charter had been written, and they were reluctantly admitted because the US supported Japan's being included. The original TPP charter was simple, the treaty would go into effect in 2013, and over the course of two years, all tariffs would be abolished. There were no exceptions for any particular sectors.

Japan knew this when they pushed their way into the treaty, but after getting in, they had a change of heart, and decided zero tariffs were quite good, so long as they diid not apply to Japan. Japan has always gotten their way in any trade agreement they have entered for the last fifty years, and I guess they thought they could do the same with TPP.

The other countries would love to have free access to the Japanese market, just as Japan already has free access to most of theirs. But no one realistically expects it, which is why America is the party which is stuck with negotiating with Japan. Japan has by far the most to lose by not joining TPP, America and the other countries need to tell Japan to give a yes or no answer, and stop wasting everyone else's time.

Without TPP there is no "Abenomics", because without real trade reform, any other reforms are doomed to fail.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

"Without TPP there is no "Abenomics", because without real trade reform, any other reforms are doomed to fail."

I agree that the TPP can push through necessary agricultural/industry/trade/corporate forms, but Japan is also necessary for the TPP to balance out interests. Without Japanese involvement, the TPP will be dominated by the US (by virtue of it being the largest economy in the world), something smaller economies do not want. Japan's position as contrary to the US is healthy for the TPP as long as they eventually get a deal signed (and I'm sure they will eventually).

Furthermore, Japan cannot throw its farm industry (and medical, and its various other industries) under the bus just for the benefit of American companies, and if you think the US is sticking to zero tariffs, as Japan is sticking to the alternative, for anything but self-interest you are mistaken.

Instead, Japan needs very gradual removal of tariffs (over a decade or more) which will give their industries time to become competitive. That is best for Japan, and ultimately that is what Abe and the US will have to agree to if a (relevant and strong) TPP deal is to be signed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

zero tariffs were quite good, so long as they diid not apply to Japan

If Japan had that selfish mentality, she, with its limited resources, could not have been the 3rd economy in the world.

all tariffs would be abolished. There were no exceptions for any particular sectors.

If so, then why does USA refuses to abolish its tariffs on Japanese cars?

stop wasting everyone else's time.

Negotiations are two way street. There must be some reasons for US side to continue this talks.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

It seems that TPP talks between Japan and the US would continue for next hundreds of years as both never compromise for disadvantages.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All I can say is "YEAH!!!!" No restrictions on capital flows can only spell another Wall Street originated depression. Best news of the day.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@ Tinawatanabe stop wasting everyone else's time.

Negotiations are two way street. There must be some reasons for US side to continue this talks.

You are correct Japan wants to sell cars in the US but don't want to negotiate to open their agriculture markets that looks more like a one way street. In order for Abenomics to work Japan has to agree to do what all the other nations has done or else his plan fails. You already answered your reasoning there must be some reason for the US to continue the talks and that is open your markets. Is it fair for you to sell your goods in one country but refuse to reciprocate the trading with that same country its a one way street Japan selling all of their goods flowing out of the country But nothing coming back in but yen and refuse the other country to sell goods back. Do you call that trading?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

gokai_wo_maneku,

EXACTLY!

TPP is a massive rip off for the consumer and a win only for the top echelon of shareholders.

If it was any good it would have been concluded by now.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The Japanese position is, as usual, that if the U.S. does not cave, then it is being unreasonable.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

"A second U.S. official said the Japanese delegation “walked out” of the talks, a charge the Japanese source denied."

What a shame! A country perpetually lives in denial

Here is the deal: If Japan ends up being excluded from TPP, (it’s a big “if” here), the ramification for Japan’s geopolitical and economic stances would be enormous, such impact would further reduce Japan’s bargaining chips at any negotiation tables with its neighbors for year to come.

It’s been shortsightedness that got Japan in today’s declining spot, and letting it continue is irresponsible for Japanese next generation and beyond

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The U.S. official said Japan’s offer did not cut tariffs to zero, the original goal, on a significant number of goods and included rules allowing higher tariffs to be reimposed if imports rise to a certain level.

Japan knew the rules going in, and is only at the table because Obama used the U.S. clout with the other countries to get them there. If Abe does not have the will or the political muscle to make the necessary decisions, then Japan should just get out.

“The Japanese have been, and continue to be, holding up the entire negotiation. They’ve got to fish or cut bait,”

Three cheers. Was predictable from the start -- which myself and others did from Day 1.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

To be fair, agreeing to cut tariffs by half is a substantive concession, especially if the US is holding back on some of its items. Frankly based on the information in this article, I don't see the Japanese as being the main obstructionists here.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I'd like the USA to hold firm... for once I'd like to be able to go to the butcher in Japan and buy a steak that does not cost an arm and a leg. If the Aussie's had grown a pair... steak might have been more affordable too.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I think one of the core principles behind TPP is that everyone has to be treated equally, or in other words, there should be no senior or junior partner but all are equal partners. I am not sure if that can be one of the things the Japs reps have to adapt to.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Uh, guys... One industry is where you put stuff into your body. The other moves your body around at great distances. I would be more careful in putting stuff into my body with greater control of this industry.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

“hostage-taking” by suddenly threatening not to lift tariffs on Japanese auto parts unless Tokyo met U.S. demands on agriculture. LOL what do expect was going to happen Japan, want the US to open all its auto markets in return for small concessions on J agriculture. time for the US to say, enough pussy footing around, open up or get out. Japan needs the TPP more than the TPP needs Japan

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kazuaki: "To be fair, agreeing to cut tariffs by half is a substantive concession, "

Not at all fair given Japan wanted the right to reimpose higher tariffs if imports reached "a certain level" (meaning anything higher than now based on a lower price). A permanent fix on the 'below 20%', then maybe, but that's not the way Japan deals, and I think they should be left in the dust they have created for themselves. They'll be back begging before too long.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Enough procrastination and slowing everyone down, show them the door and let them muse about how " very regrettable " it is when they are falling behind again once the yen moves off its current lows.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Really if the US doesn't want to eliminate tariffs on cars and parts then so be it, I think the TPP is not a good idea anyway, most of it is secret but what I have heard there are many things that are not good for you, me and other countries anyway.

Its pretty much a open one way highway for the big US companies to gain control of world markets and eliminate opposition.

Japan would be wise to say screw the TPP and then go do separate deals with the countries it can negotiate with.

Do any of you even have any idea of what this TPP involves really?

Its not just pork, beef and car parts, there are serious ramifications to any country that gets involved.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

So basically all the concerns of other countries are now fully realized and USA has egg on its face for shoehorning Japan into the talks.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The idea of US exporting rice to Japan is unrealistic and unwise on a number of levels, but the most obvious is that California is the middle of a severe drought and it is not at all clear that California would even be able to ramp up rice production to meet the demand. Water is a subsidized resource for California agriculture, which uses 80% of California's water; the price discrepancy is about 20x between agriculture and city users. And that's not taking into account the water had been taken freely out of the water table, causing the Calfornia farmland in the central valley to subside about 10 feet since 1930; just this year California became the last southwestern state to introduce water well regulations - after the horse has bolted. Meanwhile, LA is building its first billion dollar water distillation plant, and the California state governor has requested citizens to limit their showers to 4 minutes a day - really!

So it seems like a no brainer win-win for the US negotiators offer to drop the conditions on rice - but the mantra of "japanese subsidized rice vs US free market rice" is so ingrained that it cannot be overcome. Digging deeper, there is tiny cabal of agricultural businesses in the US which stand to make huge money by using subsidized water to export California rice to Japan - at the expense and severe discomfort of other US citizens - more of the special interest syndrome which is eating away at the foundations of the US.

Rice is only of the TPP issues, but it is so blatantly illogical and ugly, perhaps it is an indication the whole thing needs to be reviewed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In case you didn't already know... Japan slaps a 38.5% tariff on imported beef. Pork is figured by the Kilogram... Japan charges a tariff of Y482 per kilogram of Pork. Add in Japan's expensive middleman distribution system and guess what... You are paying a lot! For just 100 grams of pork... Y48.2 yen of the price is tariffs. On 100 grams of beef.... say your looking at around Y80 per 100 grams going to the import tariff... 38.5%... I say the USA should raise the tariff on imported auto parts from 2.5% to 38.5%.... maybe then Japan might see it our way.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Problem is Japan needs to maintain Food and industrial production. Slapping tariff on auto parts because of the pork tariff makes no sense. Every day now their are more and more recalls because of the "big three" shoddy workmanship. Besides Japan due to their auto production makes more jobs than the big three. As for American brand cars in Japan? Please do not make me laugh. They do not make vehicles Japanese want to own. The driver station is on the wrong side of the vehicle. They are too big and too expensive to operate. Now because America has made Japan "punish" Russia fuel prices keep getting higher. Fuel unlike Japan is cheap in America. Yes perhaps Japan should pull out of talks and then drop sanctions against Russia. Punish Japan and get your "reward".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@YuriOtani.... the current TPP talks are not about American cars or manufactured products. Japan and the USA disagree over agricultural products not industrial. Japan wants to keep tariffs high on beef and pork products from the USA... the USA wants them lowered and in return it will lower... tariffs on industrial products. As simple as that but Japan wants to keep USA Beef tariffs at 38.5%... and Pork at Y482 per Kilogram. Don't waste time arguing over what is not a contention.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So what will the farmers do? Japan gets less than 1/2 of its food from domestic sources. Dropping the tariff will allow hormone and antibody beef and pork into the country. It will put farmers out of business and contract the economy some more. Anyhow you had the ideal to put a tariff on Japanese products. I say Japan needs to drop out of the talks, waste of effort. I am sure the negotiators for Japan are just being polite. It is not our way to come out and say no directly. The only people who support TPP is the USA and honest Abe.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@YuriOtani... did you know that Japan already only imports beef where these hormones and antibodies are not used. I also agree... the USA should drop TPP with Japan... but the use like Japan... should raise the tariff on Japanese auto parts imported into the USA from the current 2.5% to 38.5%... to match the tariff on US Beef. If the tariff were 38.5% on parts maybe more companies in the USA could make those parts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So much for the theory that the USA controls Japan.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan has been making all possible efforts to help sell US car in Japan for decades. Japan puts no tariff on US car, Japan puts tax on J car, Japan moved J car production to US, etc.

Does Japan want US car parts tariff off so badly in exchange for destroying so many Japan's agriculture industries?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@tinawatanabe.... they don't... the USA only charges a 2.5% tariff on Japanese car parts... now if the USA increases the car parts tariff to 38.5%... like Japan does beef... then the USA will have bargaining power. And if the car parts tariff were raised so high... other parts manufacturers... non-Japanese companies would have a large advantage over Japan. So at that point, yes, the USA would have great bargaining power. And guess what all of you... you don't have to buy USA Beef... if it does not sell then there are no worries. I mean... you shouldn't fear such an inferior U.S. product in the first place.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

dana, US is probably the world top agriculture country and Japan is maybe somewhere at the bottom. Japan simply does not want to destroy J agriculture industries completely. Any country would understand the value of food self-sufficiency. I don't know Froman can use the same threat as you do.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

auto tariffs on Japanese parts and cars into the US range from 2.5% ~ 30%, while agriculture goods into Japan can go up to 800% for rice alone. Japans tariffs are insulting to its trading partners, i say the US should only reduce tariffs at the same rate that Japan is prepared to do, or the US could raise its tariffs to match that of Japanese agri goods. then theyll see understand how insulting there high tariffs are

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@tina.... we might but Japan is protecting their beef market.... and again... Japan does not have to buy the beef. Just like they don't buy U.S. cars. Beef is a very small percentage of Japan's overall food consumption... so very little is actually being protected. I think one reason Japan is holding firm is that they were able to get a great deal with the Aussie's... and they probably promised the Aussies that the Americans will not get better terms.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Does Japan want US car parts tariff off so badly in exchange for destroying so many Japan's agriculture industries? I get f sick of hearing this pathetic argument. Japanese agriculture accounts for less than 1% of the economy and less than 3% of the population, the majority of Japanese farmers are over 60 and most will be retired within 5-10 years. so Japans agriculture will dwindle away on its own anyways. what the US wants is a fair playing field, 38% beef tariffs and 800% rice tariffs is just plain insulting

4 ( +4 / -0 )

wtfjapan and dana, I don't feel any consideration or sympathy from you two toward Japan on the possiblity of destroying J farmers completely. Negotiations shouldn't be like that. You should not destroy the other party completely.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Do any of you even know what the TPP agreements contain? There is more than tariffs beef pork and car parts at stake here.

Japan would be wise to dump the tpp trade with others, aussie and kiwi beef is good if not better than US beef anyway.

Australia will be buying more cars and parts now they dumped holden down the crapper and ford is done down their.

Lots of other nations will do deals with Japan, forget the tight controls of the US companies like Monsanto and those other big companies.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@StormR.... we do... but do you know what the sticking point is... it is Beef and Pork... beyond that the USA is on board with the terms between the USA and Japan. We're not talking about the total ramifications of TPP... just why the USA and Japan do not agree.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

To be fair, agreeing to cut tariffs by half is a substantive concession, especially if the US is holding back on some of its items. Frankly based on the information in this article, I don't see the Japanese as being the main obstructionists here.

It is. The inconvenient fact is that Australia agreed to those terms so there is already a precedence set.

And to add, there is no sense in reaching an 'agreement' with the U.S. counterparts when it could possibly be rejected by the Congress.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Furthermore, Japan cannot throw its farm industry (and medical, and its various other industries) under the bus just for the benefit of American companies, and if you think the US is sticking to zero tariffs, as Japan is sticking to the alternative, for anything but self-interest you are mistaken.

How I read the treaty, it is pretty clear that it states all tariffs abolished by 2015, there were no exceptions mentioned. Most of the signatories are already standing by this particular position.

As for being "thrown under the bus", that is where Japanese consumers find themselves. The issues of agriculture and medicine are a sham. If you take JA's near monoploy of the farm sector out of the equation (JA is the exculsive supplier of agricultural chemicals and seeds, as well as the main distributor of Japanese produce) the farmers might not do so badly. As for Japanese pharma, I had to pay 1200 for a box of 40 aspirin at a pharmacy yesterday. I could have bought 250 for the same price at an American pharmacy.

Japan is not interested in being part of TPP, their goal is to delay it's implementation as long as possible, or sabotage it outright. Japan would never let a free market of consumers determine the prices of the things they buy. Big business and their pawns in the bureaucracy depend on price-fixing and non-competitive business practices, and the resulting graft. These have all resulted in an exhorbitant cost of living, which in-turn, has resulted in a falling population, and deflation.

Japan has been making all possible efforts to help sell US car in Japan for decades. Japan puts no tariff on US car, Japan puts tax on J car, Japan moved J car production to US, etc.

You are right, there is no tariff on imported cars in Japan. But why does an American car cost up to 40% more in Japan than it does in America, Europe, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, or Australia? Japan has rather large non-tariff barriers against imports. Japanese distributors charge more to transport foreign cars, and the government stipulates that brand-new foreign cars must be individually inspected before being sold. Japanese cars do not require this inspection, they get their first inspection after two years. The ironic thing is that US emissions standards and safety standards are higher than those in Japan, yet new cars must still be inspected just to make sure. This is why American car manufacturers do not want anything to do with Japan being in TPP.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I get foreign brand cars transported around all the time and the carriers charge the same rate as domestic cars, as for inspection its 3 years from new not 2, your info is incorrect on these two points at least and possible more.

As usual we have people talking about what they do not know.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

How I read the treaty, it is pretty clear that it states all tariffs abolished by 2015, there were no exceptions mentioned. Most of the signatories are already standing by this particular position.

Except for U.S. as well.

And Sangetsu again with his/her false information on NTB which was countered in a different article already.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

it is pretty clear that it states all tariffs abolished by 2015, there were no exceptions mentioned. Most of the signatories are already standing by this particular position.

It seems that Japan should not even have talked on the table of TPP from the beginning because Japan can't join the TPP. Wonder if the US already accepted no exceptions of all?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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