MEMA Responds to USTR Request for Comments on U.S.-Japan Negotiating Objectives

Date: November 27, 2018

On Nov. 26, 2018, MEMA submitted comments to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in response to the administration’s request for input on what negotiating objectives the United States should consider when it begins talks with Japan.
From the perspective of vehicle suppliers, MEMA indicated its support for this opportunity for the U.S. to strengthen our nation’s trading relationship with Japan and establish more access to their market. Certainly, the vehicle industry is a key sector in the economies of both countries. MEMA urged the parties to consider key objectives, such as: 

  • agree to terms exempting Japan from Section 232 tariffs (current and future) without any caps or quotas;
  • allow for mutual recognition of existing vehicle standards without further modification, testing or certification provided that safety levels and environmental protection are not lowered; and,
  • address non-tariff barriers to trade.

In addition to other broad negotiating objectives that we believe are important for all trade agreements, MEMA indicated that, in general, care should be taken not to jeopardize the vehicle supply chain and/or weaken U.S. employment.
As part of these comments to USTR, MEMA also requested to testify at an upcoming USTR hearing on Dec. 10 in Washington, DC.  
Last month, the USTR submitted its letter of intent to the Congress that the U.S. intends to commence trade agreement negotiations with Japan. The USTR also submitted intent letters regarding the European Union and the United Kingdom. These concurrent actions signal the administration’s eagerness to make trade deals with key trading partners. Comments for these trade agreement negotiations are coming up soon.
For more information, please contact Leigh Merino.

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