Australia Ready to Sign Trade Deal with Japan in April

Australia’s trade minister on Monday expressed his readiness to strike a free trade deal with Japan in April and have it signed in July, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to visit Canberra, according to a Japanese ruling party lawmaker.

Koya Nishikawa and Australian Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb, who are both currently in Singapore for a ministerial meeting related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, met and discussed trade-related issues.

The momentum for striking a Japan-Australia free trade deal has been picking up toward April, when Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is expected to visit Tokyo.

Nishikawa, a House of Representatives member who heads the Liberal Democratic Party’s TPP committee, also told reporters after the meeting that Robb showed readiness to reduce auto tariffs, while calling on Japan to cut duties on farm products.

Nishikawa declined to comment on details.

According to negotiation sources, Australia is asking Japan to cut tariffs on beef, which is currently subject to 38.5 percent tariff. Japan wants Australia to scrap 5 percent tariff on Japanese automobiles.

via Mainichi

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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