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U.S. abolition of tariff on Japanese cars to take more than 20 years under TPP

  • 2015-10-02 15:00:00
  • , Sankei
  • Translation

(Sankei: October 2, 2015 – p. 2)


 By Toshiya Nishimura in Atlanta


 It was learned on Oct. 1 that coordination was underway at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks for the U.S. to abolish its 2.5% tariff on Japanese cars over a period of more than 20 years. The ministerial meeting of the 12 participating nations, which started on Sept. 30 (Oct. 1 in Japan), is aiming at reaching a basic agreement in two days. Even if an agreement is reached, benefits for Japanese automakers are likely to be limited.


 In bilateral talks prior to the TPP negotiations, Japan had agreed with the U.S. on setting the longest transition period for auto tariff abolition among the TPP nations. Although the actual period of time cannot be determined until all tariff negotiations are concluded, sources on the talks generally believe that this will be set at “20-30 years.”


 Instead of autos, Japan is demanding the immediate elimination of the 2.5% tariff on auto parts. In this regard, abolition of tariff on most auto parts is expected to be implemented immediately after the TPP accord takes effect.


 Japan is also demanding that Canada eliminate its 6.1% tariff on Japanese cars over 10 years, while Canada is proposing a period longer than 10 years. Talks on this issue will continue.


 The first day of ministerial talks was mostly devoted to bilateral ministerial meetings and working-level negotiations, with only a one-hour plenary ministerial session being held.


 TPP Minister Akira Amari told reporters after the plenary meeting that he had had “in-depth discussions” on auto sector issues with the U.S., Canadian, and Mexican ministers. (Slightly abridged)

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