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Japan proposes tariff cuts for products sourced from TPP countries

Kyodo

Japan has proposed tariff cuts for products made from materials produced in countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, negotiation sources said Thursday.

For Japan, the proposal made during the ongoing round of TPP talks in Brunei means lower or no tariffs would be levied on Japanese firms’ products, subsequently boosting their competitiveness against those of countries not included in the TPP.

Twelve members of the TPP talks, including the United States, have been negotiating the rules for setting the scope of tariff reductions and eliminations in the working group for “rules of origin” in the TPP negotiations.

The 19th round is under way from Aug. 22 to Friday as countries aim to conclude a deal by the end of the year.

Japan is seeking a common rule among the TPP countries instead of having variations depending on each member country.

The negotiations on the rules of origin had been stalled, however, as Vietnam has been aiming to expand exports of its apparel and textiles by including those items made from yarn produced in China, a non-TPP member, in the target of tariff cuts and elimination, against the U.S. plan to limit the scope.

To facilitate the talks, the TPP countries have separated the negotiations on textiles from those on rules of origin.

The nine other countries involved in the TPP talks are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore.

  • blimp

    Perhaps Kyodo should take a lesson in basic class in FTA negotiations.
    The scope of products and which concessions should be offered is usually negotiated in a working group called “trade in goods” (euro lingo. the US might call it something else). For instance, leather belt should be included and after the entry into force the tariff should be lower with five percent, or the applicable tariff shall be 3%. (the 3% is only an example. I have no idea what is or will be negotiated in the TPP, or rather the bilaterals)

    Rules of Origin talks about or decides what kind of minimum process the specific product needs to have undergone to receive preferential treatment. The leather belt needs to be made or leather from the region, or the added value from the region needs to be at least 50% compared to the value that comes from outside the region. The latter can be worded in different ways, but the concept is the same.