According to a senior administration official, President Barack Obama is worried about Japan’s auto trade policy.
Acting U.S. Trade Representative Demetrios Marantis wants to see more progress in Japan’s auto issues. Last week, Japan asked permission to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks. The TPP is a group of 11 nations, led by the United States, which has been created in November 2011. The UAW, the majority of Congress and Detroit’s Big Three oppose letting the Asian country join the talks.
“We have a long history with Japan on automotive issues. It’s a serious concern to the president and we are working very hard to ensure that should Japan join the TPP that we are able to address the long-standing issues that we have in the auto sector,” Marantis said. “We’ve made progress with Japan but our work continues.”
According to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing it’s been 80 years since the Japan market has been essentially closed to American automakers and that for every 120 vehicles Japanese car makers export in the US, Detroit’s Big Three sell one vehicle in Japan. There is the concern that if the US drops tariffs this could result in the loss of thousands of auto jobs if Japan will keep its market closed.