2018 var inget vidare år för frihandeln, men 2019 började i alla fall bra. Särskilt för Japan som kommer med i två stora frihandelsavtal. Vid årsskiftet TPP-11, det vill säga TPP-avtalet utan USA, och i februari det stora frihandelsavtalet med EU.
Både Kina och USA lämnas utanför. De två giganterna kommer förstås inte påverkas särskilt mycket, men de ställs ändå vid sidan av ett sammanhang som präglas av samarbete, förutsägbarhet och lagstyre. Omvärlden har inte dragits in i USA:s och Kinas dysfunktionella sätt att hantera handelsfrågor.
“TOKYO — The Dec. 30 implementation of the 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact ushers in a new era with nearly 40% of global gross domestic product under multilateral free trade agreements, standing in sharp contrast to the trade war in which America and China are mired.
The so-called TPP-11 will virtually eliminate tariffs eventually throughout the Pacific Rim community. For member nations, all Japanese tariffs on industrial goods will be eliminated, as will 82.3% of tariffs on farm, forestry and fishery products.
Separately, an economic partnership agreement between Japan and the European Union takes effect in February. It will abolish tariffs on 94% of Japanese goods and 99% of EU products.
Japan will enjoy a huge windfall. Tariffs on Japanese exports to Canada, Australia and three other countries would decrease by about $2 billion in the first year alone, estimates Toshiki Takahashi, chief economist at the Tokyo-based Institute for International Trade and Investment.
Japanese tariffs on imports will drop by about $1 billion that year. And the country’s corporations are moving into position to take advantage.
The 38.5% tariff on beef imports from Australia and New Zealand will gradually fall until hitting 9% in year 16. So Aeon Suntory Wine International is cutting prices on imported wine thanks to the EPA between the EU and Japan. Starting with shipments on Feb. 1, the day the pact comes into force, 69 categories of wine will receive discounts of about 1% to 11%.
Trading house Itochu spent about 5 billion yen ($45 million) lifting its stake in Vietnamese textile maker Vinatex, becoming the largest shareholder next to the Vietnamese government. Itochu intends to capitalize on the TPP’s impact to clothing exports.
A 10,000 yen coat headed for Canada would have the nearly 20% tariff reduced to zero. The room for discounts and the potential profit margin would boost the competitiveness of the business. Itochu plans to expand exports from Vietnam by 50% to 100 billion yen by 2021.
Meanwhile, TPP nonmembers China and the U.S. will be left out in the cold.
After Japan entered into an EPA with Chile in 2007, Chilean wine gained a price advantage and in 2015 beat out French wine as Japan’s most popular by import volume. Back in 2007, imports of American wine and Chilean wine both hovered around 10,000 kiloliters. In 2017, imports from Chile were eight times as high those from the U.S.
When Japan’s free trade sphere grows even larger, such other U.S. products as beef will start to lose appeal. In other TPP nations, American autos and auto components will lose their competitive advantage.”it Aeon Retail lowered prices on select, popular varieties of Tasmanian beef in early December.
Det är bara att önska oss alla lycka till inför 2019. I huvudsak har världens länder hållit huvudet kallt och inte dragits in ett globalt handelskrig.