Statement by Kengo Sakurada, Chairman of Keizai Doyukai on Final Agreement in U.S.-Japan Trade Negotiations
September 26, 2019
Chairman, Keizai Doyukai
- We sincerely welcome final agreement on the Japan-United States Trade Agreement and the Japan-United States Digital Trade Agreement. It is significant that the United States and Japan, which together account for approximately 30 percent of global GDP, will sign these agreements amid increasing uncertainties in the global trade situations. We respect Prime Minister Abe and Minister Motegi for their leadership in closing the difficult negotiations in such short time, also respecting efforts of all officials involved with the negotiations.
- The Japan-United States Trade Agreement: It ensures that Japan's concessions on agricultural、forest, and fishery products will not exceed those made in the previous economic partnership agreements, while stipulating the elimination of U.S. auto tariffs in the future. We appreciate its mutually beneficial content that contributes to more industrial competitiveness of both countries.
- The Japan-United States Digital Trade Agreement: The two parties have agreed on provisions relevant to e-commerce based on the concept of DFFT, or "Data Free Flow with Trust," which was confirmed at the G20 Osaka Summit. Going forward, we expect the two countries to cooperate to lead the establishment by the WTO of rules for data flow and e-commerce.
- The significance of this agreement includes a point that it may raise the likelihood of the U.S. returning in the future to the framework of the Asia-Pacific multilateral economic partnership. We hope that the Japanese government will guard the rules-based multilateral free trade system, represented by the WTO and CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership), as a standard-bearer for free trade, and also play more leadership role thereto.