Category Archives: Trade Talks

Abe cabinet approves completion of Japan-EU FTA ratification

TOKYO, Dec. 22 ― The trade agreement between Japan and the EU is set to enter into force in February 2019, after being approved by both parliaments this month. Japan’s cabinet on Dec. 21 approved the completion of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) ratification procedure, after the Japanese parliament had voted in favor of the mega free trade deal earlier this month. With the European Parliament and the EU council have also ratified the deal, it will come into force on Feb. 1, 2019. The new EPA will eliminate 82 percent of tariffs on EU’s agricultural exports to Japan. It will also give EU food exporters greater access to … Continue reading

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Japan Diet approves FTA with EU; take effect in February 2019

TOKYO, Dec. 9 ― Japan’s upper house approved the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) by a majority vote at a plenary session on Dec. 8, leaving farmers to greet the mega free trade agreement with a sense of dread. With the European Parliament and the EU council being set to ratify the deal by year-end, the deal will come into force on Feb. 1, 2019. The lower house gave its approval in late November. Legislative debates both at the lower and the upper houses totaled only nine hours. The deal will give EU food exporters greater access to the Japanese market, with products such as cheese and pork, and deliver … Continue reading

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TPP-11 kicks in on Dec. 30 for six countries, including Japan

TOKYO, Dec. 31 ― The landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the U.S., also known as TPP-11, entered into force on Dec. 30, 2018, bringing steep tariff cuts to the first six countries that ratified the trade pact, including Japan, Australia and Canada. That will likely pose challenges for businesses that require Japanese farmers to increase competitiveness at home. Vietnam will officially enter the pact on Jan 14, 2019, while Brunei, Chile, Malaysia and Peru will come on board 60 days after they complete their ratification procedures. With the TPP-11, tariffs were slashed to zero overnight for some products, while others will be reduced over a period of up to 20 … Continue reading

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Japan farm minister reaffirms not go beyond TPP limit on rice

TOKYO, Dec. 6 ― Japan’s Agriculture Minister Takamori Yoshikawa reaffirmed that his government will not go beyond the already historic concessions Tokyo had offered to Washington in the Trade-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at upcoming bilateral talks with the U.S. Testifying before the lower house of agriculture committee on Dec. 5, Yoshikawa told fellow parliamentarians: “Go beyond the TPP concessions is just unimaginable.” Japan and the U.S. is expected to kick off negotiations for a trade agreement on goods (TAG) as early as January 2019, and the U.S. President Donald Trump recently expressed a willingness to get “a substantially better TPP” deal. The U.S. rice industry, the largest rice exporter to Japan … Continue reading

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Japanese government says no review for TPP’s beef safeguard

TOKYO, Dec. 1 ― The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the U.S., known as TPP-11, is set to come into force on Dec. 30, and the Japanese government still insists that it will not review trade remedies even the U.S. return to the trade deal is unlikely to happen. After the U.S. withdrawal, 11 remaining members decided the best way to deal with the concerns was to put the controversial provisions on ice until the U.S. was to return. As a result, the TPP-11 has no changes from the original TPP for any of the current member commitments in areas like market access for agriculture products or trade remedies. But at … Continue reading

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