US Urges Japan To Go Beyond Government Wishes to Protect Agricultural Tariffs in TPP

The United States has urged Japan to take action that would go beyond a Diet resolution seeking to maintain tariffs in five key agricultural product categories including beef and pork, a Japanese negotiator said Wednesday.

After a bilateral working-level meeting on a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, Japanese and U.S. representatives said that they have made some progress in the talks since Friday.

But tough negotiations will follow, because Washington has asked Japan to act beyond the Diet resolution, Japanese deputy chief TPP negotiator Hiroshi Oe told a news conference.

As well as Oe, Japanese ambassador for economic diplomacy Takeo Mori attended the working-level talks. U.S. participants included Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler.

The two sides tried to achieve a breakthrough on thorny issues such as Japan’s market-opening measures for agricultural products and bilateral automobile trade ahead of a ministerial meeting for all 12 states in the TPP negotiations in Sydney later this month.

At the news conference, Oe said the bilateral talks produced solid results. But a tug-of-war is continuing because Japan cannot accept the U.S. request for going beyond the Diet resolution, he said.

The two countries are expected to hold more discussions at the working level.

According to informed sources, the United States asked Japan to eliminate import tariffs on part of dairy products, one of the five key categories.

Even for key items that Washington has broadly agreed to let Japan keep tariffs, such as beef, U.S. negotiators are seeking sharp tariff cuts.Speech

via Japan News

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza