November 30, 2021
Mr. Hagiuda Koichi, Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (hereinafter, "METI Minister Hagiuda"), attended a trilateral meeting of the Japanese, U.S., and EU trade ministers held via video conference on November 30 (Tue.).
The ministers discussed the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference and responses to third countries' non-market policies, and issued a joint statement after the meeting.
Outline of the meeting
- METI Minister Hagiuda attended a trilateral meeting of the Japanese, US, and EU trade ministers held via video conference on November 30 (Tue.). (Ambassador Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative, and Mr. Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, also attended.)
- In the meeting, the ministers reaffirmed their commitment to holding a successful 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12), which was postponed due to COVID-19. They also agreed to undertake the following as trilateral partners: address the global challenges posed by third countries' non-market policies and practices; discuss them at the administrative level going forward; and regularly check progress. They also issued a joint statement.
- METI Minister Hagiuda made the following remarks at the beginning of the meeting.
Opening remarks (Excerpt)
- The WTO must avoid losing momentum due to the postponement of MC12. In order to properly address economic and social challenges such as COVID-19, digitalization, and climate change, it will be essential to maintain and strengthen the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core. I intend to continue working closely with the U.S. and EU toward reforming the WTO and improving its capability to respond to various global challenges.
- The role of states is increasing as they aim for early economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and to achieve sustainable growth (e.g., through green transitions in industry). Given these circumstances, Japan, the U.S., and the EU all need to take appropriate measures to ensure that unfair, market-distorting policies do not undermine employment or a level playing field around the world.
- I intend to thoroughly discuss which approaches are most appropriate and how to make best use of the available tools and rules, with a view toward cooperation on trade policy among Japan, the U.S., and the EU.