Statement by Minister Miyazawa, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
Substantial Agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement
October 6, 2015
- On October 5, 2015 (local time), negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, in which the government of Japan has participated since 2013, reached agreement in principle. This Agreement is one of the key pillars of Japan’s growth strategy as well as an important framework that will contribute to the growth, prosperity, and stability of the Asia-Pacific region, and I am extremely pleased with this agreement in principle.
- In a huge economic zone that accounts for about 40% of the world’s GDP, this Agreement not only reduces and eliminates tariffs but also establishes rules on trade and investment for the 21st century in a wide range of fields including investments, services, intellectual property, state-owned enterprises, and e-commerce, which can create large-scale value chains in the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region.
- The various rules based on this Agreement on areas including the reduction and elimination of tariffs, simplification of export procedures, and e-commerce also provide Japanese SMEs and mid-ranking companies with substantial advantages. In addition, the Agreement includes rules for the development of the business environment for SMEs, including the establishment of websites that provide beneficial information for SMEs to proactively utilize the outcomes of the TPP Agreement.
- As for industrial products, Japan has already achieved a high-level of liberalization for the majority of the amount of its imports, as an outcome of past WTO negotiations and the like. Meanwhile, it has been decided that tariffs on 99.9% of the amount of industrial products exports from Japan to 11 participant countries (19 trillion yen) are to be eliminated through this Agreement, which is expected to significantly contribute to both the expansion of exports from Japan and investment in Japan.
- In particular, market access between Japan and three countries, namely the U.S., Canada, and New Zealand, which have not concluded Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with Japan, is to be drastically improved for the first time in 20 years. Specifically, tariffs on approximately 70% of the total amount of exports of industrial products from Japan to these three countries (12 trillion yen) are to be eliminated at the time of the effectuation of the TPP Agreement, and all tariffs are to be eliminated eventually.
- The high-standard agreement will contribute to the promotion of Japanese companies’ business activities overseas in a wide range of fields, including investments, trade in services, intellectual property, state-owned enterprises, and e-commerce, in addition to tariffs, and will also serve as a new standard for future rules on trade and investment.
- For example, the opportunities for Japanese companies to participate in markets are expected to expand through measures such as the Vietnamese and Malaysian governments’ relaxation of regulations imposed on foreign-invested retailers. In addition, increased protection for Japanese companies’ investments and intellectual property overseas is to be realized through measures such as the prohibition of requests for technology transfer, prohibition of government intervention in royalties from license agreements, facilitation of procedures for the acquisition of trademark rights in each country, and strengthening of policing against counterfeits and pirated goods.
- We will take all possible measures to ensure that Japanese companies, including SMEs and mid-ranking companies can capitalize on the tremendous business opportunities through their proactive use of this Agreement to the fullest extent. We will continue to make our utmost efforts toward the signing of this Agreement at the earliest possible date as well as devoting ourselves to making the TPP Agreement beneficial to Japan’s economic revitalization and the vitalization of the regional economy.
Divisions in Charge
Economic Partnership Division, Trade Policy Bureau