November 22, 2021

United States-Japan Agree To Address Section 232 Tariffs, China Trade Policies

As Connecting the Dots has reported over the last month, after the United States modified its Section 232 metals tariffs for steel and aluminum products from the European Union, the Japanese government requested similar consideration.

While the Biden administration has not made a final decision regarding tariffs on Japanese products, on November 17, the United States and Japan announced the launch of a new forum aimed at strengthening trade ties and resolving trade friction between the two countries.

Both nations also pledged to examine ways that they could better address Chinese circumvention and unfair trade practices. Specifically, the United States and Japan said they will debate “potential approaches to address China’s non-market actions and other policies that threaten the stability and prosperity of the global trading system and for our workers.”

Other than that, the statement did not specify areas for discussions. Previous talks between the two nations focused on issues related to industrial subsidies, excess industrial capacity, forced technology transfer, and World Trade Organization reform. The U.S.-Japan Partnership on Trade will begin regular meetings early in 2022.

Read the statement from the USTR here.

The same day of the U.S.-Japan announcement, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Hagiuda Koichi, and Valdis Dombrovskis, executive vice president of the European Commission, announced that they had agreed to renew their trilateral partnership to address the global challenges posed by the non-market policies and practices of third countries. The partners will recommence their work in the coming weeks with the intention of meeting in person during the upcoming WTO Ministerial Conference in Switzerland. Bloomberghas more about that partnership here.

As Japan and the EU work with the Biden administration to address the Section 232 metals tariffs, South Korean Trade Minister Yeo Han-koo also has asked United States to launch negotiations to revise the tariff rules on their exports. Read more here.