【News】 TPP participants say Japan’s tariff cut offers are insufficient (Aug. 30, 2013)


Takanori Okabe – Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam

Many of the countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations said Japan’s list of tariff cut offers is insufficient and called for further market-opening measures, sources said Thursday, August 29.

In the current round of TPP negotiations which started in Brunei on Thursday, August 22, Japan has by Wednesday, August 28, held one-on-one sessions with nine member countries concerning issues of market access including tariffs.

Japanese negotiators reportedly presented their first batch of proposals to lower or eliminate tariffs on around 80 percent of total traded items within a certain time period, but did not include the five key agricultural products in the list, saying they are “undecided” on whether to reduce tariffs on the products.

Since the TPP negotiations have proceeded with each country gradually raising the percentage of items subject to tariff cuts depending on reactions from others, other countries are highly likely to put pressure on Japan in future negotiations to open up more of its markets.

Under the existing free-trade agreements which Japan has concluded, the percentage of items on which Tokyo agreed to eliminate tariffs ranges from 84.4 percent to 88.4 percent of the total. Out of the total of 9,018 agricultural and industrial products, Japan has never eliminated tariffs on some 940 items.

(Aug. 30, 2013)

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