The global trade landscape is one fraught with uncertainty. China continues to be a cause for concern, and many applaud the USMCA, while others say it doesn’t do enough. Despite that, The United States and Japan are in talks over a new bilateral free trade agreement. This month marks two years since the United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Ever since their exit, the U.S has been looking at other free trade agreements in the Pacific.
Reduce the Deficit
Discussions for this agreement between the first and third largest global economies could begin this month, according to Sourcing Journal Online. In 2017 the U.S had $283.6 billion in trade with Japan. The U.S exported $114 billion of goods and services to Japan and imported $169.5. The primary driver for the U.S is the hopes of eradicating the trade deficit. They believe that tariff and non-tariff barriers will achieve that.
Japan, a long-time American ally, is experiencing tensions over the U.S withdrawal from the TPP. Now, it looks like Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is ready to strengthen ties with the U.S. Steel and aluminum tariffs have been implemented against Japan. Also, proposed auto tariffs hang in the balance ahead of negotiations, giving further incentive. Japan’s objectives are to keep those at bay and keep their agriculture sector off the table, details the Associated Press.
Time to Negotiate
President Trump will work with Prime MinisterPrime Minister Shinzo Abe Abe on specific critical measures of interest to the U.S. Increasing transparency regarding licensing, preventing trade distortions, and strengthening anti-dumping and countervailing duty evasion top the list.
The U.S wishes to gain access to Japan’s auto market further and expedite customs. Stagnation in releasing shipments that have passed compliance laws has dampened cross-border e-commerce. These measures would increase express delivery for low-value goods, benefitting both parties.