The U.S. and Japan concluded the third round of U.S.-Japan Parallel Negotiations on Motor Vehicles, Insurance and other Non-tariff Measures on Wednesday. The negotiations help pave the way toward agreement in the multi-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and also address issues not discussed during the TPP talks.
According to Acting Deputy USTR Wendy Cutler, who chaired the meeting, “This third round of our parallel negotiations with Japan yielded some progress, although important work remains – particularly in the area of motor vehicles. We will follow up on a range of issues prior to our next round, the timing of which is still being coordinated, in order to advance bilateral work in line with the time frame for the TPP negotiations established in the TPP Leaders’ statement of October 8, 2013. We have continued to stress the critical importance of achieving strong outcomes from these negotiations.”
Details of the talk were not made public, but they are expected to have followed up on the earlier broad commitments made last April. At that time, the U.S. identified long-standing concerns in the automotive industry. Japan agreed that U.S. tariffs on imports of Japanese motor vehicles will be phased out in accordance with the longest staging period for any other product in the TPP negotiations, and that phase-outs of these tariffs will be “back loaded” to take place at the end of the staging period.
In insurance, both governments agreed to address level playing field issues bi-laterally and during the TPP talks. Non-tariff measure not addressed during the TPP negotiations are being discussed in these negotiations, also.
The United States exported $70 billion in goods to Japan in 2012 and $44 billion in services in 2011, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.