On Dec. 21, the U.S. Trade Representative published a summary of its negotiating objectives for pending trade talks with Japan. Prior to this publication, the USTR requested public comments and held a public hearing on this subject. MEMA submitted written comments (click here) and testified at the hearing (click here).
Vehicles are briefly mentioned in the objectives, indicating the USTR will seek to secure commitments for regulatory compatibility in certain sectors (motor vehicles being one of several) to facilitate U.S. exports. The USTR further noted it will seek “secure additional provisions as necessary to obtain fair and more equitable trade in the motor vehicle sector, including provisions designed to address non-tariff barriers in Japan as well as to increase production and jobs in the U.S.”
This agreement is one of three that the USTR initiated in mid-October with letters of intent to Congress, which is part of the Trade Promotion Authority process. Negotiations with the European Union and the United Kingdom are also on the administration’s agenda for 2019. It is expected that the USTR will soon release its objectives for the EU. Comments and a hearing are coming up for the UK on Jan. 15 and Jan. 29, respectively.