Taiwan seeks entry into CPTPP

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Credit: Tony Tan

As reported by the Central News Agency in Taiwan – Taiwan’s President, Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said she hopes Japan will support Taiwan’s admission into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Since the US’s withdrawal, Japan has led the trade initiative and President Tsai hopes the strengthening ties between the two nations will help Taiwan enter the CPTPP.
Part of this recent push could be related to the recent loss of two of Taiwan’s diplomatic allies – Pacific island nations of Kiribati and the Soloman Islands. The loss of these two allies is the result of a pressure campaign by China and reduces Taiwan’s diplomatic allies from 17 to 15.

US and Japan reach trade deal.

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Last week, President Trump and his counterpart Prime Minister Abe of Japan reached a trade deal to cut tariffs and increase trade between the two nations.

Part of the deal includes Japan agreeing to reduce or cancel tariffs on American agricultural exports such as beef, corn, pork and fruit – with the US agreeing to reduce tariffs on bicycles, flowers, tea and other industrial products.

At the same time, the agreement prohibits future tariffs on streaming videos, music and video games.

If you have any questions about how the new trade deal with Japan will impact your business, contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com, dh@gjatradelaw.com.

Potential US Japan deal looks to boost US agriculture exports.

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As promised during his campaign, President Trump withdrew the US from the Trans Pacific Partnership – leaving Canada, Mexico and Australia as the major players; opting instead to enter into bilateral agreements with individual countries.
After the TPP took effect this January, US farm exports to Japan dropped by 2% for the first half of the year, with a projected annual net farm income loss of $4.4 billion annually. This could be due to US exports of beef to Japan now subject to a 38.5% duty, ground pork at 20% and some cheeses at 40%. The lack of a trade deal has also impacted
Japan’s exporters of steel and aluminum to the US. The President has previously threatened Japan with duties on auto imports.
The US and Japan have reached an agreement in principle expect to make the trade deal official in the upcoming months.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden says he would renegotiate TPP.

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This past Thursday, Presidential hopeful and former Vice-President Joe Biden announced he would renegotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and would not rejoin the TPP as it was initially put forward.

The irony in Vice-President Biden’s statement is his boss was a strong advocate of TPP and tried to push the agreement through before the end of his presidency.

Joe’s main reason to negotiate the TPP is to change provisions that labor and environmental groups in the US worried would result in US jobs moving to lower-income countries such as Vietnam along with other developing countries in Southeast Asia.

Taiwan to cut tariffs on sake and Japan farm and fishery products as it looks to join TPP.

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According to the Japan Times, in an effort to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade pact (formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership), Taiwan will lower its tariffs on Japanese sake from 40% to 20% along with reductions in tariffs for Japanese farm and fishery products. The reduction in tariffs is to demonstrate Taiwan’s commitment for free trade.

While open to free trade, Taiwan still does not allow imports from five Japanese prefectures impacted by the Fukushima nuclear power station crisis that occurred in 2011.

Will post any updates if and when Taiwan is admitted to the TPP.

Japan proposes cutting U.S. farm tariffs to TPP levels.

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During last week’s bilateral trade talks between the US and Japan, Japan proposed reducing tariffs on U.S. agricultural products to the current levels for TPP members.

This would have the impact helping American farmers and ranchers whose imports have become less competitive in the Japanese market compared to their Australian and Canadian counterparts who are part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (previously known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership).

However, this reduction in agricultural tariffs would require the US to remove US import taxes on Japanese automobiles and vehicle parts.

The two countries met for two days last week but no firm agreement was reached.

Japan and US set for bilateral trade talks in mid-April.

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The US and Japan will hold trade talks on April 15 and 16 in Washington as part of President Trump’s campaign promise for fair and reciprocal trade. Trump will most likely work on resolving the large trade deficit with Japan.

The US would like to see increase US beef exports while Japan said the trade talks will only cover goods only and not agriculture.

It will be interesting to see how the talks proceed – Japan is already a party to the 11-member agreement formerly known as the Trans Pacific Partnership along with an economic partnership agreement with the EU.

CPTPP invites other nations to join.

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The 11 countries that are part of the “Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)” (formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership), have agreed to expand the trade agreement and are seeking involvement of other Pacific nations.

Last week, the first meeting of the CPTPP was held in Tokyo where Ministers and Officials from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam were in attendance.

The CPTPP issued a statement welcoming any new countries that can “meet CPTPP’s high standards and objectives”.

The CPTPP was enacted in December 2018 and proceeded after the Trump Administration removed the US from the deal. The next CPTPP meeting will be held in New Zealand and starting in 2020, each member nation will take turns hosting a meeting.

Contact our office if you have any questions how the trans-pacific partnership will impact your business. David Hsu, 832-896-6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

Trans-Pacific Partnership will come into force December 2018

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When the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was agreed to in March 2018, the largest free-trade agreement in Asia would become effective upon ratification by six out of the 11 participating countries.

On Tuesday October 30th, Australia became the sixth country to ratify the pact meaning tariff cuts will take place as early as December, almost 2 years after President Trump withdrew the US from talks. Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru and Vietnam have yet to ratify the deal.

It is estimated the new TPP trade deal will remove tariffs on an estimated 95% of goods traded among the 11 member countries and a combined GDP of $10 trillion.

If you have any questions how the new TPP deal may impact your business, feel free to contact experienced trade attorney David Hsu at any time, 832.896.6288 or by email at attorney.dave@yahoo.com.

US and Japan will negotiate a free trade agreement.

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During the UN meeting this week, the US and Japan agreed on Wednesday to negotiate a separate bilateral trade agreement between the two countries. While Japan is part of the Trans Pacific Partnership, the agreement by Japan to negotiate may be an effort to avoid the risk of tariffs on Japanese goods to the US – especially automobiles. This agreement to negotiate is a shift from Japanese economic policy as in the past Japan has not expressed interest in talking to the US.