What Happened: Japan is reportedly pushing the United States to grant auto concessions that would be on a par with provisions in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in exchange for opening Japan's market for U.S. agricultural products, Japan Today reported April 26. This would entail a rapid drawdown of U.S. tariffs on auto parts as well as the full removal of car and light truck duties over the next several decades.
Why It Matters: Japan's push to obtain TPP-level auto trade access to the U.S. market is a notable shift from Tokyo's earlier focus on merely avoiding new U.S. tariffs. However, Tokyo's demands would make it more difficult for both sides to reach a deal since such a provision would require congressional approval in the United States.
Background: The United States and Japan agreed to enter trade talks in late 2018 after strong pressure from Washington, which threatened to implement a 25 percent tariff on auto imports.
- Japan, U.S.: Industrial Giants Take the Slow Road to a Trade Deal (April 12, 2019)
- Asian Free Trade Proposal Is Broad in Scope, Narrow in Focus (March 25, 2019)
- Japan Drafts a Delicate Approach to U.S. Trade Talks (Feb. 11, 2019)