Category Archives: Trade Talks

TPP talks without US edge closer to new deal ahead of APEC

URAYASU, Nov. 2 — Officials from the remaining 11 members of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have managed to narrow differences, raising hopes that they could reach a new trade deal without the United States during their Nov. 8-9 ministerial meeting in Vietnam. TPP-11 officials met in Urayasu city, near Tokyo, for three days that ended on Nov. 1. They focused on narrowing the list of provisions that will be put on ice in the hopes that the U.S. will return to the TPP. “We advanced the discussion,” Kazuyoshi Umemoto, Japan’s chief negotiator, told reporters after the meeting. Umemoto said members agreed on certain provisions, including the data exclusivity period for biologic … Continue reading

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TPP-11 officials set to meet in last negotiations before APEC

TOKYO, Oct. 25 — Negotiators from the remaining 11 members of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will meet for three days starting Oct. 30 in Urayasu city, near Tokyo, according to the Japanese government. “We hope we will advance the talks toward reaching an agreement, while keeping the deal ambitious” said TPP Minister Toshimitsu Motegi at an Oct. 24 press conference. The TPP-11 officials will again focus on narrowing the list of provisions that will be put on ice until the United States might return to the TPP. Japan wants to cut the list by half from the current 50 requests. If this is not possible, Japan hopes that the list can … Continue reading

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Japan rejects US pressure to review frozen beef safeguard

TOKYO, Oct. 21 — Japan’s Agriculture Minister Ken Saito has reiterated that Tokyo will not bend to U.S. pressure to review its special safeguard (SSG) mechanism on frozen beef imports. “Japan has no intention to change its safeguard mechanism,” said Saito at a press conference on Oct. 20. His comment came after a second round of Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue between Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and Vice President Mike Pence on Oct. 16 ended without a solution over the SSG mechanism. Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, Japan has the right to invoke the SSG to restrict frozen beef imports temporarily by raising the tariff from 38.5 percent to 50 … Continue reading

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Japan watching New Zealand’s new government TPP stance

TOKYO, Oct. 21 — Japan is keeping an eye on a move by New Zealand’s incoming Labour Party-led government, which could undermine the prospects of a planned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal without the United States. “The new government has expressed an intention to modify policies including the TTP,” said Japan’s TPP Minister Toshimitsu Motegi at a press conference on Oct. 20. “We will wait and see.” Agriculture Minister Ken Saito has echoed the caution expressed by Motegi. With the support of the Greens and NZ First parties, NZ’s prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern said she will implement policies to ban foreign buyers from purchasing existing homes and she will also renegotiate … Continue reading

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Japan looks to slash farm support related to TPP agreement

TOKYO, Oct. 18 — Japan’s finance ministry has called for a cut in the budget allocated to farm support. This includes programs to help adjust to increased agricultural food products entering Japan following the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The ministry’s fiscal system council, which advises the finance minister, stressed on Oct. 17 it wants to review agricultural support programs related to the TPP, as the United States pulled out of the regional trade deal in January. And the council’s intention goes beyond the TPP. In July, Tokyo and Brussels reached a political deal on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The governing party as well as farm lobby groups have stepped … Continue reading

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