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 the same time, the TPP-11 included a review clause, which stipulates that the remaining members can renegotiate the deal in case when it will not come back into the agreement as originally negotiated.
Japanese farmers and opposition lawmakers have increasingly raised voices to review a safeguard mechanism for beef imports as well as reduce tariff rate quotas for dairy products, simply because the reality has changed.
The U.S. President Donald Trump is clear he has no intention to return the TPP.
Yet, the Japanese government insists it is not in a position to review trade remedies. Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi repeatedly says: “We don’t see that the original TPP has no chance to come into force.”
The withdrawal of the U.S. from the agreement, of course, does impact the overall size of agriculture trade, and an annual safeguard measure is unlikely to be triggered, experts say.