US, Japan form trade partnership to strengthen alliance

  • Japan
  • Thursday, 18 Nov 2021

US Trade Representative Katherine Tai elbow bumps with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi ahead of their meeting at the Iikura Guest House in Tokyo, on Nov. 17, 2021. - AP

TOKYO (Bloomberg): The US and Japan announced the formation of a new trade partnership to strengthen their alliance and coordinate on "third-country concerns,” an apparent reference to China.

The first of a series of meetings between the two governments is set to take place in early 2022, and the discussions will also cover issues including regional and multilateral trade, labour, the environment and the digital ecosystem, according to a statement issued by the office of Trade Representative Katherine Tai, who is visiting Tokyo.

The announcement comes after Tai began talks with Japanese Trade Minister Koichi Hagiuda about global steel and aluminum excess capacity, which she has said is largely driven by China.

Japan has urged the US to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership regional trade deal, which former President Donald Trump exited when he took office.

Since then, China has applied to join the agreement, which was once pushed by the US as a way to isolate Beijing and counterbalance its growing weight in the region.

The Biden administration has said it plans to form a new Indo-Pacific economic framework dealing with a range of topics, although it has yet to flesh out details. The US will not be rejoining the CPTPP anytime soon, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Wednesday.

The unveiling of the US-Japan partnership also follows the announcement that negotiations will begin on resolving the problem of tariffs imposed on Japanese steel and aluminum under Trump in 2018.

Japan was subjected to the 25% duties on steel and 10% tariffs on aluminum using the section 232 national-security provision in a 1962 trade law, in the opening salvo of Trump’s trade wars with his country’s traditional allies. President Joe Biden has moved to improve ties with such allies, including by easing levies imposed on the EU.

Despite the bilateral security alliance and then-Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to build a personal relationship with Trump, Japan wasn’t among the nations that were able to negotiate deals to avoid the tariffs.

Tai also met with Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi, with the two agreeing to work toward "meaningful reform” of the World Trade Organization, the USTR said in a separate statement.

he Geneva-based body -- which is holding a key meeting of trade ministers at the end of the month -- hasn’t collectively moved forward on any major issues for the better part of the past decade.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Japan , US , trade , partnership


Next In Aseanplus News

Health Ministry discussing with JPA on absorbing contract workers as permanent staff, says Dr Zaliha
Ab Rauf nominated to be next Melaka chief minister
AirAsia launches live call, refund tracking features on super app, website
Tech talent still highly sought after in S’pore, job vacancy report shows
Chaos, conflict must not be allowed in Asia or the future is lost: New Chinese premier Li Qiang
Fast flow toll system’s proof of concept to use RFID and number plate recognition at Sungai Besi Expressway
Japan PM quizzed by ChatGPT in Parliament as lawmaker enlists bot’s help
Girl, 7, throws boy down a well in China in video that shocks millions
Crypto fugitive Do Kwon faces US and South Korean charges. Who gets him first?
Life after ‘World Of Warcraft’ starts with NetEase searching for its�own hits

Others Also Read