Monday, January 23, 2012

Trade battle looms as Japanese sales soften

The always contentious issue of auto trade is threatening to deraiil negotiations on a new Trans-Pacific Trade pact. Last November, the leaders from  nine Trans-Pacific Partnership countries – Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States – announced they had agreed the broad outlines of an ambitious, 21st-century Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP greement that would enhance trade and investment among among the signatories.
Citing Japan’s history of excluding foreign competition from its markets and ongoing policy of currency manipulation, Sen. Casey (D-PA) announced he had written to President Obama and asked that Japan not be included in the TPP unless they agree to open their market to U.S. autos.  Meaningful access to Japan’s closed auto market for Chrysler, Ford and GM’s product offerings, must be first met before inviting Japan to join in a free trade agreement with the United States, Casey said in statement.  
 Meanwhile, Japanese automakers have cut their estimates for sales in Japan.
Demand for cars, trucks and buses in the country may grow only 1 percent  to 5 million vehicles from 4.2 million last year, according to the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. The estimate is short of the projected increase predicted by JAMA chairman Toshiyuki Shiga last month when he said sales would rise by about 900,000 vehicles. By Joseph Szczesny


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