Professor Emeritus, Hitotsubashi University, Japan
Negotiations for three economies’ accession to the TPP have started toward its final stage. While Canada and Mexico will clear additional hurdles of liberalization easily thanks to their membership of NAFTA, Japan is reported to face strong requests by the U.S. and Australia on her liberalization of agricultural products. Nevertheless, all existing members of the TPP negotiation welcome the three economies’ accession in principle since it will increase the scale economy merit of TPP. However, it will never be easy to successfully conclude the TPP negotiation. It is not only in Japan alone that vested-interest groups resist to moves to open economic regime. Requests for exclusion are made in many economies including the U.S. How can we stress them to minimum and achieve a high level of trade and investment liberalization principle. In future we need to incorporate China, Indonesia, and other Asian economies which carry the high growth of the Asia Pacific region. Read more…
Peter A. Petri
Brandeis University, Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, and member of the US Asia Pacific Council
This article appeared in Nihon Keizai Shimbun, November 8, 2010 (in Japanese)
The intense debate in the Democratic Party of Japan—on whether Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, an initiative spanning nine countries on both sides of the Pacific, including the United States—has far-reaching implications not just for Japan but for the region and the world.
Many of us in the United States would warmly welcome a positive Japanese decision. By joining the TPP effort, Japan would reenergize the vision of a truly integrated Asia-Pacific economy, as proposed by the leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bogor, Indonesia in 1994.
That beautiful, historic vision remains compelling: it’s hard to imagine a peaceful, prosperous world without a vibrant Asia-Pacific economy at its center. Yet, as leaders gather in Yokohama for the APEC summit this month, economic cooperation in the Pacific is more troubled than it has been for years.
University of Adelaide & Vice-Chair AUSPECC
This article is cross-posted from the East Asia Forum website
Japanese politicians are still debating whether Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). TPP members are not allowed exclusions. Agriculture is the issue, specifically the domestic political constraints imposed by protection of that sector in Japan. At the same time, the business sector is pushing hard to join.
The TPP builds on the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement which Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore set up in 2006. The TPP negotiating group now includes those four plus Australia, the US, Peru, Vietnam and Malaysia. The Japanese debate brought the TPP back to the headlines and highlighted the questions about the value of the preferential route to trade and domestic reform.