(Yomiuri: October 15, 2015 – p. 11)
In light of the broad TPP agreement, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will take steps to support exports of textile products. Most tariffs on textile products will be abolished after the TPP agreement takes effect. With rising labor costs in Asia, the depreciation of the yen, and such other factors, conditions are favorable for expanding exports. Japan will aim at increasing sales of functional fabrics, high-end fashionable garments, and other products.
Concrete steps to be taken will include subsidies for market research, product development, participation in trade fairs, and such other branding efforts, particularly in the U.S. market.
The U.S. government currently imposes high tariffs on imported products to protect the domestic textile industry. It is expected to eliminate most of these tariffs within a few years after the TPP agreement takes effect, so this will be a golden opportunity for Japanese textile manufacturers to expand exports.
Among Japanese textile products, functional fabrics that excel in heat-retention or absorption of perspiration and release of moisture, are selling well in the U.S. as outdoor or sports clothing.
According to the Japan Textiles Exporters Association, exports of Japanese-made textiles to the U.S. in 2014 amounted to approximately 66.6 billion yen. (Slightly abridged)