It is hoped that fair, high-level economic rules will be spread through the world in a drive to strengthen the free trade framework.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, with 11 participating countries including Japan and Australia, has come into force with the six countries that have completed procedures.

In addition to the abolition of tariffs, rules such as on trade, investment and intellectual property rights have been put in place. It is significant that goods and money will flow smoothly in the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region.

Under the TPP deal, Japanese consumers and companies will gain a number of benefits. Japan’s tariff on imported beef has been lowered from 38.5 percent to 27.5 percent. It will be cut to 9 percent in the 16th year. A tariff on Japanese passenger cars to be exported to Canada will be abolished in the fifth year.

In February, an economic partnership agreement (EPA) between Japan and the European Union also will take effect. It is crucial for companies and producers to draw up highly viable investment plans and sales strategies by taking the TPP and EPA as a good opportunity to expand their exports and imports.

Touting America First policies, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the TPP.

If the bilateral TAG results in a deal with standards similar to TPP’s, that also could prepare the ground for the United States to return to the TPP in the future.

— The Japan News

— The Japan News

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