Levin Statement on Joint U.S. - Japan TPP Statement

Feb 22, 2013

WASHINGTON – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) issued the following statement today regarding the Joint Statement by the United States and Japan concerning the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“As Japan explores whether to seek to join the TPP negotiations, there must be a clear, concrete understanding that before Japan would join the TPP negotiations that those negotiations would result in a real change in Japan’s policies and practices. Today’s joint statement suggests there are ‘sensitivities’ on both the Japanese side (agricultural products) and the U.S. side (autos and other manufactured products). It is worrisome that the joint statement might obscure the fact that those ‘sensitivities’ are both on Japan’s side.  Japan has long been ‘sensitive’ about opening its agriculture markets and about opening its auto market, as well as other markets, including insurance.  For generations, Japan has kept these markets closed, thwarting our efforts in agreement after agreement to change the situation for American exports. We have worked with every previous Administration – over decades – to try to open the markets that Japan has fastidiously kept closed.  These efforts, unfortunately, have not been successful. An agreement that does not result in two-way trade is not an agreement that I or this Congress will support.”