Japan Diet OKs Trade Pact with U.S.

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 4 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, approved Wednesday a recently signed trade agreement between Japan and the United States, with Tokyo and Washington expected to put it into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, after necessary adjustments.

The pact was approved by a majority vote at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, on Wednesday, with support mainly from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its Komeito ally. It was endorsed by the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, in November.

Based on the trade deal, which was signed in October, Japan will open its agricultural market within the levels it promised under the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement, which entered into force late last year. For example, Japan's tariffs on U.S. beef, now at 38.5 pct, will be reduced in stages until the rate eventually falls to 9 pct in fiscal 2033.

The United States will abolish or cut its tariffs on a wide range of industrial products from Japan. Meanwhile, the U.S. side will not scrap its tariffs on Japanese automobiles and auto parts, and the two countries will hold further negotiations on the matter.

Within four months of the deal going into effect, Tokyo and Washington will discuss whether to launch negotiations on a more comprehensive bilateral trade deal.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press