Japan, U.S. to hold third TPP-linked talks on autos, trade barriers

Kyodo

Japan and the United States will hold their third round of bilateral trade negotiations next week in Washington on auto trade-related issues and nontariff measures, the government said Friday.

The three-day talks from Monday, in parallel with the 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, will be attended by Takeo Mori, the Japanese ambassador for economic diplomacy, and Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler, as in the previous two rounds.

The dialogue was launched following a request from the United States, which has been seeking the further opening of the Japanese market through the establishment of unified auto safety standards and changes in insurance, investment, intellectual property and other fields.

Agreements to be reached in the bilateral talks related to the automotive sector will be reflected in the TPP negotiations, while those regarding nontariff measures will be implemented by each country. They will all take effect when the TPP pact goes into force.

The two sides unveiled the bilateral negotiation framework in April after completing their preparatory talks for Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations.

The first round was held from Aug. 7 to 9 and the second round, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, both in Tokyo.

The 12 TPP members underscored their pledge to conclude a deal by the end of this year during a summit held in Bali, Indonesia, on Oct. 8.