Trump’s US-Japan Trade Deal Wins Japan Parliament Approval

December 4, 2019 Updated: December 4, 2019

TOKYO—Japan’s Parliament on Wednesday approved a trade deal that was agreed upon by President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe earlier this year.

The deal cutting tariffs between the countries takes effect at the beginning of next year. It cleared Japan’s upper house Wednesday after clearing the more powerful lower house earlier.

Some critics say the deal is more advantageous to the United States since a 2.5 percent tariff on Japanese automobiles remains.

The deal will pave the way for cheaper American beef and other agricultural products in Japan.

American beef in Japan-trade deal
Packs of frozen beef imported from the United States are sold at a supermarket in Tokyo on Feb. 16, 2019. (Kyodo News via AP)

Japan also reached a separate trade deal with Europe.

Japan, which imports U.S. farm products worth $14 billion, is America’s third-largest market.

The United States and Japan have agreed to continue talks on trade, and the auto tariffs are likely to come up in the talks.

The Japanese auto industry is a key part of this nation’s economy, although the manufacturers, such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., have moved production abroad to avert tariffs and become part of American business.

When the trade deal was reached in September, Trump said it means opening Japan’s market to about $7 billion in U.S. farm goods, with tariffs lowered or scrapped on American beef, pork, wheat, cheese, corn, and wine.

Abe has called the deal a “win-win.”

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