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EXCLUSIVE: Japan, U.S. to open respective markets by 7 b. dollars

  • September 25, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 12:31 p.m.
  • English Press

New York, Sept. 24 (Jiji Press) — Japan and the United States plan to open their respective domestic markets by 7 billion dollars under an envisaged bilateral trade agreement, informed sources told Jiji Press on Tuesday.

Based on estimates by the U.S. side, Japan plans to open its agricultural market to 7 billion dollars’ worth of U.S. farm products by swiftly abolishing or reducing tariffs after the trade pact takes effect by the end of this year, the sources said.

In return, the Unites States is slated to eliminate or cut its tariffs on 7 billion dollars’ worth of Japanese industrial products, such as steel and chemical products as well as machine tools.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump will confirm the final agreement of bilateral trade negotiations in their meeting to be held in New York on Wednesday.

The Japanese government hopes to win the understanding of domestic agricultural and livestock farmers for the deal by explaining to them that the value of Japanese agricultural products and that of U.S. industrial products to be subject to the tariff elimination or reduction would be about the same, the sources said.

The 7 billion dollar framework would not cover U.S. tariffs on automotive products, which account for some 30 pct of Japan’s overall U.S.-bound exports totaling about 140 billion dollars.

In the bilateral negotiations, Japan agreed to lower its tariffs on U.S. beef and pork to the levels of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact among 11 countries, which took effect late last year. The United States withdrew from the TPP framework in 2017.

Last year, Japan’s imports of U.S. agriculture, forestry and fishery products totaled some 16 billion dollars. Nearly 50 pct of such products will be subject to tariff elimination or reduction under the new trade deal, according to the sources.

While maintaining its tariffs in the auto sector, the United States will show its stance of abolishing them in the future in a supplementary document of the trade agreement with Japan, the sources said.

Under a broad TPP deal before the withdrawal of the United States, Japan was to eliminate its tariffs for 51.3 pct of agricultural products in terms of the number of trade items. The United States was to abolish its tariffs on 67.4 pct of industrial products in terms of trade value.

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