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Almost 60% taking forward-looking stance on Japan-U.S. trade pact, Asahi Shimbun survey of 100 leading companies

  • December 4, 2019
  • , Asahi , p. 6
  • JMH Translation

In October, the Japanese and U.S. governments concluded a new trade pact. Japan lowered its tariffs on American beef. pork, and other key agricultural products important to the U.S. to a level on a par with those granted to participants in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) multilateral trade pact. Meanwhile, however, it was decided that the removal of tariffs on auto-related items, which was a matter of concern to Japan, would be subject to further negotiations. A total of almost 60% of companies surveyed are taking a forward-looking stance on the pact, with 51 companies saying they think “quite highly” of the pact and eight indicating they view it “very highly.” NGK Insulators President Taku Oshima comments: “The pact is a product of compromise, but Japan did not lose in the deal with U.S. President Donald Trump.”


The Japanese government says that the U.S. pledged at the summit meeting it would not impose additional tariffs on Japanese vehicles. Subaru Director Toshiaki Okada says, “The trade environment was maintained. We welcome the pact in that sense.”


Some 25 companies, however, said that they are “unsure” about the new trade agreement. A total of five companies said that they either “do not think very highly of the pact” or “do not view it highly at all.” Among those five are some auto-related companies.


The Japanese government has stressed that the U.S. has “promised to remove the auto-related tariffs on Japanese cars and auto parts in the future,” but some in the opposition parties and some specialists are skeptical that this will be realized.


[Polling methodology: The survey was conducted of 100 leading Japanese companies nationwide on Nov. 11–22, 2019. Interviews were conducted with top executives at 40% of those 100 companies. Some companies did not answer some questions so the total number of companies does not total to 100 for each question. Questions and answers have been abbreviated in some cases.]

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