The recent meeting of US and Japanese top leaders ended, reconfirming the bilateral alliance should remain the same. The two did not touch upon trade and economic issues, including US withdrawal from the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) initiative, which has helped to produce a friendly atmosphere in front of the public eyes. A US-Japan economic dialogue will be set later. The summit meeting does not mean good to Japanese people, but rather opposite.
US GOVERNMENT WILL DEMAND JAPAN MORE CONCESSIONS
Mr. Trump prefers FTA (=free trade agreement) to TPP because he could win more concessions from Japan. A bilateral economic meeting will be held after April where tough negotiation will take place in the setting after the botched TPP mechanism.
Behind US Presence
Prime Minister Abe was to enclose China by way of TPP to take initiative in the Asian region, taking advantage of US presence. President Trump, however, had made a phone meeting with President Xi Jin-Ping before the meeting with Premier Abe. The US leader had admitted One China policy to pledge cooperation with the Asian giant. His attitude to China is quite different from that of the Japanese premier.
A similar response is seen over the US withdrawal of the TPP scheme. President Trump proposes an FTA between US and Japan in order to gain bigger earnings than those from the TPP.
The Japanese government has pledged in the TPP talks to liberalize 95% of 9,000 agricultural items, to purchase 80 thousand tons of rice and set extraordinarily low border taxes (including tariffs) in 10-15 years on the five crucial items of rice, beef, pork, potatoes and dairy goods.
The government has agreed upon further;
(1) to expand a scope of medical service in which insurance coverage is absent, which may undermine the existing health insurance system,
(2) to introduce a system in which discharge of workers may be negotiated with money
(3) to bring multi-national corporations into the water supply sector currently operated by the private sector
(4) to prohibit discriminatory measures in the finance and insurance sectors
(5) to admit ISD (=Investment-State Dispute) settlement
(6) to lower the current safety standard on foodstuff
(7) to set patent validity of medicines to eight years
(8) to extend the period of automobile export tariffs
(9) to encourage procuring automobile parts in the invested countries
(10) to admit the ratchet clauses
President Trump will negotiate these issues in a tough way in the coming top meeting.
He may propose and demand: additional purchase of 200 thousand ton of rice, abolition of the BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) check practice performed on individual cattle, elimination of obligation of GM (=genetically modified) indication and ending of tariffs on beef and pork. For automobile, he will request export restriction to US and local production there.
It is said that he wants to create a cheap dollar-high Yen situation on the assumption that Japan improves export performance through manipulation of exchange rates to lower Yen value. He may demand corrections over Japan’s financial and monetary policies, a pillar of the so-called Abenomics economic policy, harshly criticizing them.
Prime Minister Abe, relying on a globalist rule, attempts to enhance the neo-liberal trade policy with an aim to block China, utilizing the current situation and involving President Trump in order to boost the national defense budget and to revise Article Nine of the Constitution.
Food Sovereignty must be established
President Trump is hopefully to get US multinational companies back home to reduce unemployment. But, disastrously to Japanese people, he may tear down agriculture and worsen environment, medical service and social welfare through FTA.
We must oppose neo-liberal trade practices based on a jungle philosophy and lack of concern on environmental deprivation. Every country should establish food sovereignty and build up conditions to improve self-sufficiency of safe foodstuff.
February 28, 2017