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U.S. senators want no exemptions for Japan over TPP

80 Comments
By MATTHEW PENNINGTON

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Good. I say down with the Japanese agriculture lobby, down with Nokyo, down with rice fetishism. And if an 85 year old's hand-gardened rice is so good, people will still buy it. This is not, however, to say that I support the U.S. lobbies' positions either. You can't force Japanese consumers to buy American automobiles when they've been told their entire lives that the product is inferior.

7 ( +16 / -8 )

The only winner from all this would be corporations, mostly U.S owned. What free trade does is lower standards in all ways. Incomes will fall, foods will end up with less safety checks and we will see the countries in the TPP end up like the EU. There is no one size fits all in the world. TPP is to benefit a very small amount of the elite. People may find some things a bit cheaper at first but in the end many will find themselves in a situation such as countries like Cyprus and Italy find themselves in now.

There is a reason that the U.S wants this and it is not out of kindness to the rest of the world. This is due to lobbyists from the elite getting their wishes granted by crooked U.S politicians. The more ridiculous thing is the complaining about Japan devaluing the currency, these idiots have no credibility with those in the know about current affairs.

It is all a scam and they do not care about you.

7 ( +13 / -8 )

More "pot calling the kettle black." Each major manufacturing country is trying to protect their own production by requiring exemptions, US included. Recall that TPP began with Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, and Brunei before US usurped it.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis told the Senate Finance Committee hearing that Japan would have to put “all goods on the table” for negotiation.

nothing good about j-economy for over twenty years so Japan will put "all Goods on the table." Abe might have already agreed to it during his recent meeting with Obama.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Agreed Poke. But as long as the market is open then that is pretty much all that matters. I can still head down to my local major chain grocery market and find some J-goods on the shelf. I was really shocked during a trip to a grocery store in Hong Kong was selling a rather hard to find US indie food brand "garden of eatin'" chips in even more flavors than I had at my local food chain... and they were well stocked too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is just the first or second or hundredth I dont know, shot being fired as the sides postulate prior to real negotiations taking place.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The U.S. protects its own markets just as strongly as Japan does, just as all politicians in all countries are liars and thieves.

The Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mazda and Nissan dealerships in the U.S. are owned by Americans. The manufacturers don't sell them direct.

If Japanese wanted American cars, there would be more Japanese buying America car dealerships.

I think American cars are ugly now and ill-suited for Japan anyway. The lack of parts and a dealer network makes them off the radar for me. You see more Mercedes and Volvos than America cars for a reason.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

@HonestDictator..."garden of eatin'" chips are made by the Hain Celestial Group, a corporation that sells a billion dollars a year worth of processed foods. Nothing indie about it except the faux-indie marketing that's so common in "organic" foods. And that's what these companies want. They want to tear apart the tradition of eating wholesome, unprocessed local foods and replace it with processed junk foods that bring in high profit margins, huge waistlines, and new health problems.

7 ( +7 / -1 )

Even if U.S. built cars were better than Japanese, they would not have bought them in masses. Sure you have a few rebels, but Japan being an ethnic homogeneous society, would not have turned their backs on their automotive industry, nor any other domestic industry. There may not have been economic barriers but there sure are social ones. There is not big mystery as to why, but Japanese society is very prejudiced towards foreigners and foreign products. Are there any financialy valuable foreign products that dominate in the Japanese market?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

New PM Abe talks a lot about the TPP but it is obvious his hands are tied when it comes to products like rice, cars and plenty of other 'protected' products. Japan will never be totally open to free trade when some of the lobbies are powerful enough to topple an administration and Abe knows it. Japanese people for years have been buying & using only their own products and they are very good ones. They will seldom compromise on this so foreign products will not stand a chance to even be sold alongside the favored locals, let alone be allowed into the country. Abe is hoping for certain exemption and for a while it seems like he could be getting it, but now it looks like it will not happen.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

This is so like Japan. They agree to join international agreements and always play the "but" card. There is the child abduction agreement and the anti-whaling agreement, both of which Japan has used the "but" clause. I agree with the US senators on this one. Either, all in or all out. No ifs, buts or excuses.

-1 ( +11 / -11 )

Is the yen undervalued or is the US$ overvalued?

Probably both, really. Thing is, the US can't have it both ways, and should be careful what it demands on this one. If Japan has no exemptions, it should follow that the USA should also have no exemptions. If we're talking automotive, then the USA needs to drop the 2.5% duty on light trucks, the 25% duty on trucks AND get rid of all the non-tariff barriers in the US market - for example.

Get rid of the regulatory barriers that prevent Daihatsu from selling kei trucks in the US.

Most of JT's readership will probably laugh at that one, but that's Ford and GM'S biggest nightmare. A bare bones work truck, great on gas, dirt cheap to maintain, proven on farms and in the cities - and you can buy THREE for the price of an F-150. I know for a fact they'll sell - I've referred clients to companies who specialize in exporting used kei trucks to Canada, and they've bought literally dozens.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

What free trade does is lower standards in all ways.

If by 'lower standards' you mean increase variety, increase choice, lower prices, promote efficient application of resources, and make both countries involved better off, then you're absolutely correct. Free trade does lower standards.

The people who stand to gain from free trade? How about the Japanese people dealing with ridiculous food prices?

I do always chuckle whenever a U.S. politician accuses a foreign country of currency devaluation. Exactly what have we been doing for the last 5 years, now?

Michigan recently became a right-to-work state. Thank God. Now, maybe the Big 3 can actually get appropriately priced labor and start putting out appropriately priced cars that people might actually want to buy. With that, they'd have nothing to fear from the big mean Japanese auto industry who's been wiping the floor with them for the last...forever.

Not saying they have to eliminate all tariffs by tomorrow, but there needs to be a gradual reduction on both sides of the ocean. Everyone stands to gain from this free trade agreement.

0 ( +2 / -1 )

Just politicians talking tough on behalf of their constituents, same as in Japan and any other country. No one wants to look like they're willing to cave too easily.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

bfg4987 Mar. 20, 2013 - 08:21AM JST The people who stand to gain from free trade? How about the Japanese people dealing with ridiculous food prices?

Do you really think that J-goverment really cares if their own people's benefit from lower prices? They don't care. That is the last thing that the goverment is thinking of. Why do you think people in Japan pay 5 times more than U.S. in basic needs like rice and J-goverment annually pay out close to $46 billion in farm subsidies which is close to entire defense cost of Japan? Sounds ridiculous. What the Japanese goverment wants to do is to protect their industry at all cost. The J-goverment and the corporations are in same bed together. In their eyes, they are partner for survival, and this will not change. Average citizens doesn't count.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I wasn't talking about what the government wants to do, I was talking about what they need to do.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bfg4987 -

Sorry to get all geezer on you, but when I was a lad and FTAs were just a dream, Michigan didn't need right to work legislation. The Canada-US auto pact, followed by the CDA-US FTA and then NAFTA killed Michigan. That's a fact. Production shifted to where it was cheapest - Canada, then Mexico.

Yes, food became cheaper, and there was a bit more variety on the shelves. But wages never really increased, and the good jobs never came back. And it's been like that for so long that people are willing to work for half of what they worked for 25 years ago - and you seem convinced that's a good thing. It's not.

Yes, it means variety, increased choice, lower prices and efficient application of resources. But all of those things have another side: lower pay, lower profit margins, downsizing, and relocating production.

9 ( +8 / -0 )

Right about the kei trucks. If the US removes the trade barriers on those, they'll be all over the country. It's a great cottage industry as is, but demand is limited because of the trade restrictions. I'm pro free trade, but I'm not happy about how that's worked out for the American diet. People eat overpriced garbage in the US, and enjoy it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But all of those things have another side: lower pay, lower profit margins, downsizing, and relocating production.

I'm sorry, but the current generation isn't your generation. We don't want manufacturing jobs in America. Let China, India, Mexico etc. do that junk. People are getting educated, going to college, learning skill-intensive occupations, in essence, America's future.

The past is the past. The future is the future.

-6 ( +1 / -5 )

But this discussion is neither here nor there in regards to the article at hand.

-4 ( +0 / -3 )

As Flalsflastaf - the onlo losers will be the small growers and manufactured. This serves big business, global corporate culture and destroys individuals creating a monoculture of goods and products. Tarris serve to protect culture as well as industries. If there was t a buck in it for politicians then this discussion wold not be happening.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Looking at the Big Mac Index the Yen is currently about parity with the USD right now. While China is about 40% undervalued. The Japanese need to push their currency down. Their goods had become way too expensive in the West. Korea (about 35% undervalued) and China were sticking to Japanese manufacturers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Okay ... for those of you who might know. Where does the money from the protective tariffs the US imposes on Japanese autos go. I mean specifically - is the tariff received by the federal government, or is some part of the tariff received by particular states?

I'm just wondering if some of the Senators are influenced by money coming into their states from protective tariffs, but I don't know how the system works. Do you?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Games up Japan.The world knows your tricks! Abide by International rules or break you will.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Surf O'HolicMar. 20, 2013 - 07:38AM JST said.................................. More "pot calling the kettle black." Each major manufacturing country is trying to protect their own production by requiring exemptions, US included. Recall that TPP began with Singapore, New Zealand, Chile, and Brunei before US usurped it.

Exactly right. The USA wasn't started in the first place but somehow have managed to insert themselves as the the big boss of TPP. I would be quite happy to just see the original countries work along with japan and join TPP without the USA. At least we would have safer and cheaper foods from these countries.

We don't hear any of the original countries that formed TPP bleating and carrying on all the time. ---Only the USA.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm a Canadian so I can tell you how far I can throw this one. It's just the usual grandstanding. Actually many countries have food and other industries that they want exempt from the TPP. Japan's insistence on food protection allows them and other countries to back each other and push USA off this industry for their benefit, so there is more than one way to see this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The only winner from all this would be corporations, mostly U.S owned.

As if Japanese corporations don't benefit already from open trade with the U.S.!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@darnname

The Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Mazda and Nissan dealerships in the U.S. are owned by Americans. The manufacturers don't sell them direct.

Wow. What an argument. Independent dealerships in the US -- which you rail against -- is how the Japanese cracked the US market. The dealers were always free to choose what vehicles they would sell.

No such freedom in fortress Japan. The dealerships are owned and controlled by the manufacturers, who naturally reject foreign competition and dictate who sells what. And that's one way how Japan manages to keep 95 percent of its market domestic. It's been identified as a "non-tariff barrier."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

To be sure there are plenty of issues on all sides, but clearly this is one time where Japan needs to be told NO EXEMPTIONS.

Japan has for decades poisoned their people wrt to most things non-Japanese made, with the exception of some luxury items for the most part. Japan (like others) has non-tarrif barriers but Japan is light years beyond most countries in that regard.

Bottom line Japan, if it wants to play with the rest of the world has to start playing like the rest of the world.

Heck even is GM FORD etc make PERFECT cars/trucks for Japan they'd still have an awful time trying to set up, dealers, parts distribution etc because for the most part NO LOCALS would touch it, its too ingrained.

The ole Japan ichiban, j-food is oishii mindset is HAMMERED into eveyone here 24/7/365 for decades, THAT is the single biggest barrier of all.

So Japan sorry you dont deserve any passes this time round, whether you get'em time will tell but you dont derserve them.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Are there any financialy valuable foreign products that dominate in the Japanese market?

Ipod, Ipad, IPhone........

but Japan being an ethnic homogeneous society,

Please stop right there, it's not, and quit passing around this some others might believe it and continue the stereotype.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“It’s impossible for us to get into their markets,” she said, charging that protectionism of Japan’s auto sales dates back 80 years. “As we look at Japan, why in the world would we believe at this point that this would be any different?”

Japan already has import tariffs very low even compared to other G8 countries,madam.

U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis told the Senate Finance Committee hearing that Japan would have to put “all goods on the table” for negotiation.

It seems that greed and selfishness of Americans against the Japanese has not changed much in the last 67 years.

Talking tough, Democrat Sen Debbie Stabenow, co-chair of a Senate caucus on manufacturing, complained Japan exports 120 automobiles to the U.S. for every American vehicle sold to Japan. She also accused Japan of currency manipulation, saying that an undervalued yen is giving it an unfair advantage.

At the end of Day the American politicians following the same path of the Chinese Communists. What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Talking tough, Democrat Sen Debbie Stabenow, co-chair of a Senate caucus on manufacturing, complained Japan exports 120 automobiles to the U.S. for every American vehicle sold to Japan. She also accused Japan of currency manipulation, saying that an undervalued yen is giving it an unfair advantage

Most Japanese will not buy an American car, so regardless of how open Japan makes it market for American autos, they will not be bought.

American automobiles with the exception of a few are bad.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The big problem of TPP is not about import tariffs. Any smart Japanese knows that TPP will lead to a path: Mass immigration.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

“As we look at Japan, why in the world would we believe at this point that this would be any different?”

Like myself and others have been saying for a long time, Japan needs deals like this more than the other countries need Japan to be part of it. Most developed countries, especially the U.S., are fed up with Japan's antics and know there is very little upside for their companies. Japan's days of growth are long gone and so they cannot bluff their way through anymore. Face reality folks, Japan Inc's protectionism worked great before the bubble burst. But now with an economy that has gone nowhere in over two decades and a shrinking/aging population, that model is completely obsolete. But since that model has bred a generation of corporate leaders that only know one way to manage, and rely on the tariffs and other trade barriers to mask their comapnies' inefficiencies, Japan is between a rock and a hard spot. I hope these senators hold Japan's feet to the fire. For Japan's sake.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Most Japanese will not buy an American car, so regardless of how open Japan makes it market for American autos, they will not be bought.

Here is the problem, it isnt so much that American cars are "bad" it's that they dont typically fit the Japanese market needs. The costs involved with owning a foreign car in Japan are astronomical in comparison to owning a Japanese car in the US.

JCI, road taxes, and not to mention the FACT that there are no American car factories in Japan meaning parts are limited too. (Japan would NEVER allow an American automaker to start up a factory here in Japan NEVER)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

complained Japan exports 120 automobiles to the U.S. for every American vehicle sold to Japan.

Blame the people who buy them....the American people are telling you what they want. Sheesh!

Hokkaidoguy, that's interesting. The US has been yapping about keis for a while now. Most of them have never been here and have NO idea how narrow some streets are, how narrow some parking lots are. I frequently see Hummers, Cadillac SUVs and Chryslers parked in two spaces in 100-yen parking lots in Kobe. American cars are for the most part too damned big! Crappy mileage in a country where gas is $7-8 bucks a gallon isn't endearing either. I had no idea keis were going overseas.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@ issa - Please enlighten us as to how the TPP "will lead to mass immigration". I could do with a laugh today.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Most Japanese will not buy an American car,

Most Americans don't buy Japanese cars, either. What's your point?

kei cars: A bare bones work truck, great on gas, dirt cheap to maintain, proven on farms and in the cities

If kei cars are so great, then why do they need all the elaborate regulatory protection? Lift all the preferential treatment, and watch all the kei cars die a quick death.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Get rid of the regulatory barriers that prevent Daihatsu from selling kei trucks in the US.

Only problem is that they wouldn't pass a safety inspection in the US. There safety features are limited and the doors would have to be steel reinforced making them heavier and loose part of there appeal because with extra weight with a limited engine the less they could haul.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The problem with these free trade agreements is that Govt's hijack the term. A REAL free-market trade argument needs no cooperation between Govts. "Free-trade" agreements is really about giving a certain set of people a Govt granted monopoly or privileged to freely trade. While driving out competitors with laws and higher taxation. It's the orwellian language these officials like to use that allows them to easily fool the public.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There should be no exemptions, I agree. It's not 'free trade' when there are so many conditions standing in the way.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Every country should protect its agricultural sector because food, which we cannot survive without, should not be treated the same was as other consumer products such as autos, clothing, electronic products, etc., which we can survive without. We also lose the diversity in agricultural food sector. Though genetically modified seeds, which are often used by huge agricultural companies such as Cargill, can produce large output, such production can be susceptible to sudden massive loss as if a certain disease were to spread amongst the crops, it can spread extremely quickly as all crops have exactly the same genetic make up. In such situation, reliability of supply becomes an issue.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Only problem is that they wouldn't pass a safety inspection in the US.

When American places regulations it's for safety, when the Japanese places them they are called non-tariff trade barriers.

Get my riff?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Every country should protect its agricultural sector because food, which we cannot survive without, should not be treated the same was as other consumer products

Really? At the expense of over subsidizing local producers and over charging consumers for a product that could be purchased cheaper elsewhere? Japan is not self sufficient in food production.

When American places regulations it's for safety, when the Japanese places them they are called non-tariff trade barriers.

In this case no it's not true, Japanese cars made in Japan for the Japanese market and not for export to the US have different designs and safety features. One in particular is the requirement for US cars to have steel reinforced beams in the side doors to protect the passengers in a side collision. Japanese domestic cars do not have that requirement. That is not a trade barrier, it's a safety issue.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hence, Free Trade

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Most Americans don't buy Japanese cars, either. What's your point? "

My point was outlined in my post, the various reasons Japanese cars are in many cases impractical in Japan. Feel free to read it again. I'll wait ;-)

But really? A trip to any mall and a quick look around the parking lot and a count of the number of Japanese cars would dispel your statement fairly quickly.

"If kei cars are so great, then why do they need all the elaborate regulatory protection?"

Would you really tax a 660cc engine the same as a full-sized car? Would you also charge the same for shaken for such a small engine? Even if you did, the convenience and the gas savings would save this category.

The dealerships are owned and controlled by the manufacturers,

Don't most dealerships sell one brand despite who owns them? Audi, Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, and Jaguar all have dealerships in Kobe, and I'm sure a lot of other major cities as well, even though they don't manufacture here. Why can they succeed, and not Ford or GM?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

New drivers, students, families on a budget who want a second car, those over 60, and people living in older neighborhoods all favor kei or the cars that are just above kei class.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I disagree that American cars won't do well in Japan. I think Ford will do particularly well if they do get into Japan in a serious way. Buick would be another since both companies incorporate good international business concepts.

Of course companies like Dodge or Cadillac won't do well since Japan is not well-suited for cars of this capacity and size. But it doesn't mean none of the American brands would be competitive.

Actually a lot of good can come out of this since Ford likes to build locally. Some components of a vehicle could be mass produced in Japan, creating more jobs and downstream more dealerships and supporting businesses. It also create some urgency within Japan's own car manufacturing industry to produce more quality cars. If Japan continues to be status quo about its protectionism in the heavy industries, eventually somethings got to give.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yubaru: "Only problem is that they wouldn't pass a safety inspection in the US."

That's kind of the point, really. Safety inspections, regional emissions standards, registration class and tax levels - these are all non-tariff trade barriers.

America wants Japan to get rid of theirs - but will America do the same?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

A trip to any mall and a quick look around the parking lot and a count of the number of Japanese cars would dispel your statement fairly quickly.

Wow, what an astounding insight. Silly me, basing my argument on published market share stats.

(US market share 2011) GM 19.4%, FORD 16.5% TOYOTA 12.6% CHRYSLER 10.5% Honda 9.7%

Why can they (Europeans) succeed,

The don't succeed. They only have a 4 percent market share, and Europeans have the same complaints as Americans. AND they oppose free trade with Japan, calling this market a "one way street."

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Why in the world would Japanese people buy American cars? We support our domestic makers and jobs here in Japan.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Jeff, why did you use 2011 stats? In 2012 the numbers were 18% for gm, 15% ford, and 14% Toyota

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why in the world would Japanese people buy American cars? We support our domestic makers and jobs here in Japan.

Do you realize how bad this sounds? Why would anyone want to buy a Japanese car in the USA?

The answer would be the same, maybe the person buying the car LIKES them. Give Japanese a chance to purchase a reasonably priced American made car (made for the Japanese market) and give it the same costs in the JCI, maybe just maybe Japanese people would start to buy them too!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yubaru

In this case no it's not true, Japanese cars made in Japan for the Japanese market and not for export to the US have different designs and safety features. One in particular is the requirement for US cars to have steel reinforced beams in the side doors to protect the passengers in a side collision. Japanese domestic cars do not have that requirement. That is not a trade barrier, it's a safety issue.

No it is exactly the same. If the US made cars does not match Japanese regulations for one reason or the other then those cars would require to meet those requirements. The Americans call this non tariff trade barriers.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hiroyuki Suzuki wake up! If every American felt as you did the Japanese cars would never have sold in the US. Trade between the US and Japan is one sided favoring Japan. The US must crack down on Japan and force it to open it's market to US products as US have done to Japanese products. Japan cannot demand US to open its market when clearly Japan's maker is closed.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Silly me

You said it. Honda and Toyota combined are 22.3% .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

" In 2012, the company sold 2.1 million cars in the U.S. market, an increase of nearly half a million cars. It was Toyota's best year in the U.S. since 2008.

Likewise, Honda's U.S. sales rose 24% in 2012 to 1.4 million cars and light trucks, an increase of 275,500."

Yes, Americans really have no interest in Japanese cars.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Senators and law makers will not be satisfied until Japan passes a law saying that every Japanese has to own at least one American car. I say Japan does not need the TPP, which is just an attempt to own Japan by US 1%ers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

While I want more trading the United States is not doing very well in economics right now. Plus it doesn't look like it will get any better in the next few years. Even so if Japan does start trading a lot with the US that doesn't exactly mean that citizens have to buy American products.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Are there any financialy valuable foreign products that dominate in the Japanese market? I guess APPLE, like the IPHONE, IPODS, IPADS etc...aint doing too bad here on the J islands. Motorcyles, like the HIGH END, many Japanese LOVE American Harley Davidsons! etc...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That is not a trade barrier, it's a safety issue.

It is both, a safety issue and a non-tariff trade barrier, depending on your perspective. The problem with free-trade agreements is that industries will not stop complaining about non-tariff trade barriers until the agreement settles on the lowest common denominator. In the end, it is the consumer who loses. Countries won't have the possibility any more to legislate raises in safety or environmental standards unless they renegotiate the FTA agreement with all parties involved. The fact that all countries without any exception have legal standards for vehicle safety shows that a free market cannot solve the underlying problems. Corporations try to use free-trade agreements to undermine the legal authority of their respective governments.

While a mutual adjustment of legislation is certainly welcome to some extent, I don't think we can or even should address all non-tariff trade barriers in free-trade agreements. Free markets are a utopian concept. We rather have to find criteria to level the impact on foreign trading partners, such as minimum transition periods for enacting legislation which deviates from the common legislation of all trade partners.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But resolving sensitive issues, including Japan’s heavily subsidized agriculture sector, could prove tricky. Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis told the Senate Finance Committee hearing that Japan would have to put “all goods on the table” for negotiation.

Some numbers for the part of subsidies of the income of agricultural producers:

Australia: 2.98%

Canada: 14.20%

Chile: 3.51%

USA: 7.66%

Mexico: 11.56%

New Zealand: 0.79%

Japan: 51.63%

OECD average: 18.83%

The numbers are for 2011. I couldn't quickly find numbers for the other countries participating in the TPP negotiations.

Does Demetrios Marantis mean that the US is also putting all goods on the table and willing to reduce its agricultural subsidies to the level of Australia or New Zealand? Or does he only want Japan to come down to US levels? I remember that the US had steadfastly refused to reduce its agricultural subsidies during the Doha rounds of the WTO. A change in that stance would be good news, but I can't believe that yet...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just say yes Japan! It is so easy! Just tell these idiot senators who half will be gone in 5 years anyway that you will...

If American autos have the same playing field in Japan, they will be happy! It does not necesarily mean Japan has to buy them, right? I am an American and I have never driven an American car because of their shoddy manufacturing. I drive Toyotas because they last, don't break down, and more importantly hold their value far better than the US autos. Most in America who buy Japanese feel the same way.

It is such an easy task to figure out for the Japanese! Allow American cars to import w/o tariffs to Japan. If nobody buys them, then they will eventually go away. I have spent a lot of time in Japan and count the American cars on my fingers. That is how little I see them... Why would the Japanese buy them when their own cars are better?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Bicultural

Jeff, why did you use 2011 stats? In 2012 the numbers were 18% for gm, 15% ford, and 14% Toyota

Thanks, Bicultural, both sets of stats support my argument: that most Americans DONT buy Japanese cars.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

"Talking tough, Democrat Sen Debbie Stabenow, co-chair of a Senate caucus on manufacturing, complained Japan exports 120 automobiles to the U.S. for every American vehicle sold to Japan.

She also accused Japan of currency manipulation, saying that an undervalued yen is giving it an unfair advantage.

“It’s impossible for us to get into their markets,” she said, charging that protectionism of Japan’s auto sales dates back 80 years. “As we look at Japan, why in the world would we believe at this point that this would be any different?”"

It is really scary if what the senator said is true, then it is better to have a known enemy like China than a 'friend' like Japan who practices Stealth Protectionism. Now we notice!

Time for US to look out for USA First!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Why in the world would Japanese people buy American cars? We support our domestic makers and jobs here in Japan

H.Suzuki,

Thx for being the poster boy for what I was saying. You need to think this through more I think, if the rest of the world had YOUR attitude guess where Japan would be right now, living the lifestyle somewhere between NKorea & China thats where.

Something to think about

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If the stats for Toyota and Honda together are a higher percentage than GM, how can you continue to say that Americans aren't buying Japanese cars?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I guess that measn PTT won't work. Agree, this would have been better without Uncle Sam butting in and taking over.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Doublehelix, Currently, there are NO tarriffs on US cars imported into Japan. There have been no tarriffs since the Reagan era's SII agreement with Japan. And last year, they had the really really cheap dollar. But they could not sell cars. Now China is US auto makers biggest growing market. Well, wait for Chinese to have experience with US cars, and soon they will be back to buying Japanese cars. The sales numbers are already ticking up.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Asianhometown

Japanese people do have the chance to buy American cars. Guess what? The steering wheel is on the wrong side! Japanese makers have been successful in the states because they adapted the product to suit the US market. US car makers haven't done the same. If you want to talk about non-tariff barriers, I think the mentality of the American automakers has to be the #1 barrier.

There is simply no way we are going to buy non-Japanese made cars in large numbers. We already have great cars that suit our needs.

When I was in America, I saw "Buy American" campaigns all over. Here people tell me we shouldn't "Buy Japanese."

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Guess what? The steering wheel is on the wrong side!

Then maybe you could explain the Ford Focus in my neighborhood with RHD.

We already have great cars that suit our needs.

Fine. Then don't engage in free trade deals with other countries. Stay confined to your little island and watch your society die a slow death.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Talking about the Ford Focus, I'm going to view it this weekend. A bit pricy at 2.9m. I surpose that's the price of owning a foreign car. European or US made, I guess European made being RHD..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a bunch of Bravo Sierra! It is easy to bring an American spec car into Japan. It is next to impossible to bring a Japanese spec car into America. Even for personal use!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"Talking tough, Democrat Sen Debbie Stabenow, co-chair of a Senate caucus on manufacturing, complained Japan exports 120 automobiles to the U.S. for every American vehicle sold to Japan. “It’s impossible for us to get into their markets,” she said, charging that protectionism of Japan’s auto sales dates back 80 years. “As we look at Japan, why in the world would we believe at this point that this would be any different" She also accused Japan of currency manipulation, saying that an undervalued yen is giving it an unfair advantage.

Are Senators in U.S. this stupid or she just basically being a puppet for U.S. automakers?

Listen lady.

During 1979, the president of UAW threatened Japan to either "limit the exports or to produce within U.S." which subsequently lead to UAW and Ford to request the U.S. government to act on the Trade Act Section 301. The request was reviewed by ITC but their decision stated that their failure was not due to Japanese exports but declining domestic demand and high gas prices which created a demand for smaller cars which the U.S. auto industry could not adapt.

During the early 80's under Regan, he tried to work on limiting the number of Japanese exports through legislation but with opposition from Secretary of Commerce and USTR at that time, the U.S. accepted Japan's self imposed export limit which lasted which lasted through the early 90's.   During this time frame however, despite efforts by Reagan to devalue the dollar (Plaza Accord), the Japanese manufactuers improved on their cost cutting/efficency production which resulted in high profit margins while at the same time built factories within U.S. where in 1994, the aforementioned self imposed export restriction by the Japanese government had become obsolete and useless.

To summarize, the Japanese automobile manufacturers "adapted" while U.S. manufacturers and their paid puppet Senators just bitch and moan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Are Senators in U.S. this stupid or she just basically being a puppet for U.S. automakers?

She's from my state (Michigan), so yes, she's a puppet for the automakers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There seem to be a problem that U.S. have gotten convince that free market globalization is to their advantage somehow, or will be in some distant future. Think of all the great words that have come out of the think tank in Corporate offices and Washington the last 30-40 years. Things like outsourcing, globalization, service economy and emerging markets. As a business plan, corporations raced to cut the only real cost they could control and that was labor. So, at the expense to their citizens, they outsourced the manufacturing to third world countries offering slave wages. When they finally hit the point of no return, where the unemployed and underemployed could no longer afford even the "cheap imports", their new corporate strategy is the "emerging markets" which there are 1.3 billion consumers in China and only 300 million in the U.S., the numbers work for them. Throw the jobs, income and ability to spend in the U.S., bankrupt the system and concentrate on the "emerging markets" and the CEO's and their companies will in theory increase their business and profits 10 times. This is actually a flawed theory, but, never the less that is what there doing. This is also what Japan is also doing inside China, copying the footprints of U.S. The economy has been destroyed from the inside out and U.S. goverment have allowed it to happen. The "free market" doesn't work and history has shown that after NAFTA and other treaties were implemented, the workers in U.S. were screwed. Same thing will happen to Japan.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In this case no it's not true, Japanese cars made in Japan for the Japanese market and not for export to the US have different designs and safety features. One in particular is the requirement for US cars to have steel reinforced beams in the side doors to protect the passengers in a side collision. Japanese domestic cars do not have that requirement. That is not a trade barrier, it's a safety issue.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

All Japanese cars have side intrusion beams and have had so for more than 15 years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There should be some good results from these negotiations in terms of countries defining their interests and establishing the parameters for negotiating with respect to them in the future, though I doubt that will translate into a tangible agreement.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am an American and I have never driven an American car because of their shoddy manufacturing. I drive Toyotas because they last, don't break down, and more importantly hold their value far better than the US autos.

-most likely that is an American made car. Only ~10% of these cars are imported from Japan. In fact sometimes they are more American made than "American" brands. =Yes, the Toyota Camry is more American made than the iconic Ford F150 pick-up.

Here are the 10 most American vehicles and where they're made: (Toyota Camry #1, Ford F150 #2)

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2012/07/toyota-camry-beats-ford-f-150-as-most-american-made/1#.UU3rQI7CQ2Y

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am against this trade agreement and feel it is against the Japanese people/culture. Wages will go down until you have pigs in the river like in China. If anything Japan needs to innovate and automate as much as possible and go high quality. Opening the doors to low quality makes no sense. Opening the doors to toxic food makes no sense. As said previously the only ones to benefit will be the large corporations/financial elite and not the little person (worker).

Wiping out an sustainable organic agricultural system that has maintained a large population in Asia is particularly stupid. Do people really think the land that must be perpetually fertilized will last forever? -at some point these lands become infertile like what happened in Rome, but Asia rice farming can last forever.

Japan doesn't need this trade agreement and high quality will always sell since it is a better value than low quality. People are tired of all the throw away junk anyway.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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