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2014年2月24日 (月)

TPP閣僚会合 日米互いにカードを切る時だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 23, 2014
Japan, U.S. must play last card to successfully conclude TPP talks
TPP閣僚会合 日米互いにカードを切る時だ(2月23日付・読売社説)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks appear to be reaching a make-or-break point over whether a broad agreement can be reached.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉が大筋合意できるかどうか、大きなヤマ場を迎えた。

To break the impasse, we strongly hope Japan and the United States, the two biggest economies in the negotiations, cooperate more closely.
 膠着(こうちゃく)状態を打開するため、今度こそ、交渉を主導する日本と米国の歩み寄りを求めたい。

Ministerial talks with all 12 TPP member nations participating, including Japan, the United States and Australia, began in Singapore on Saturday. The four-day talks are supposed to breathe fresh air into the negotiations for the first time in about two months after the negotiators gave up their efforts to strike a deal in December.
 日米、豪州など12か国によるTPP交渉の閣僚会合が22日、シンガポールで始まった。昨年12月に合意を見送って以来、約2か月ぶりの仕切り直し交渉である。

The TPP negotiations are an ambitious attempt aimed to create a new trade zone with a high degree of liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region.
 TPPは、高い自由化率の新貿易圏をアジア太平洋地域で創設するという野心的な試みだ。

Expectations are high that Japan’s growth strategy will be able to forge ahead if this country is successful in tapping the vigor of the fast-growing Asian economies through a TPP accord. The U.S. administration of President Barack Obama believes a TPP agreement will boost employment and increase U.S. exports.
 TPPをテコにアジアの活力を取り込めば、日本の成長戦略に弾みがつくと期待される。雇用と輸出拡大を狙うオバマ米政権も、TPP重視を掲げてきた。

The failure to arrive at an agreement last year as planned was due mainly to a rift between Tokyo and Washington, which affected overall TPP negotiations.
 しかし、昨年末に合意できなかったのは、日米の対立が交渉全体の足を引っ張ったためだ。

While the TPP aims in principle to abolish all tariffs, the Liberal Democratic Party has insisted that five major farm product categories, including rice and wheat, be regarded as “sanctuaries” that are exempt from trade liberalization. Japan and the United States remain far apart on this issue, with Washington calling for all tariffs to be eliminated.
 TPPは原則、関税撤廃がルールだが、自民党はコメ、麦など農産品5項目を「聖域」として死守するよう主張している。あくまで関税撤廃を求める米国と日本の主張の隔たりは大きい。

Prior to the ministerial talks, Japan’s minister in charge of TPP affairs, Akira Amari, met with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman following Japan-U.S. talks on the TPP in Tokyo. Before the start of the full ministerial meeting, Amari said, “Both of us must play our last cards,” apparently an indication of his resolve to do his best to find common ground with the United States.
 閣僚会合前、甘利TPP相がフロマン米通商代表と会談したほか、日米協議も東京で行われた。甘利氏が「互いにカードを切る」と意気込んだのは、着地点を探りたい決意の表れだろう。

What Tokyo could do

Before the ministerial meeting, Amari seemed to be sounding out the United States on Japan’s readiness to lower its tariffs on such farm products as beef and pork, but Washington argued that the Japanese-proposed tariff cuts were insufficient and called for further liberalization steps. There are no indications the bilateral talks will be successful, at least for now.
 日本は5項目のうち、牛肉や豚肉の関税率引き下げなどを打診した模様だが、米国はまだ不十分として一層の自由化を求めている。今のところ、日米協議が決着する見通しはたっていない。

According to the internationally accepted classification of tariffs, the five farm product categories in question comprise 586 trade items. Where should Japan make concessions and where should this country hold fast? The Japanese negotiators should seek a breakthrough by considering realistic ways to open the domestic market, centering on trade items that are not imported and those that would cause little impact on domestic industries if their tariffs are lowered or abolished.
 関税分類上、5項目は586品目に及ぶ。日本は何を守り、何を譲るか。輸入実績がない品目や影響が軽微なものを中心に、現実的な市場開放策を検討し、交渉の突破口を開いてもらいたい。

The two countries remain far apart in regard to Japan’s call for the United States to clearly indicate its timing for the abolition of tariffs on motor vehicles, while eliminating tariffs on auto parts. Washington has refused the Japanese demand, as it would harm the interests of automakers in the United States.
 日本が自動車関税の撤廃時期明示や部品関税撤廃を求めている点では、国内業界の意向を受けて米国が抵抗し、平行線が続く。

U.S. legislation for a trade promotion law to provide Obama with a mandate to conduct trade negotiations has yet to be enacted by Congress.
 米大統領に通商交渉権を与える貿易促進法案は議会で成立していない。

Apparently, the Obama administration is sticking to a hard-line stance in the TPP talks in an effort to gain congressional support for the legislation.
議会の支持を集めて法案成立を目指そうと、オバマ政権がTPP交渉で強硬姿勢を堅持せざるを得ない事情もうかがえる。

In Singapore, the participating countries are holding bilateral talks in parallel with the multilateral negotiations. Discord is deep-rooted between the United States and such emerging economies as Malaysia concerning such fields as intellectual property rights and competition-related policies.
 シンガポールでは、多国間と日米など2国間の交渉が並行して行われる。知的財産権や競争政策分野でも、米国とマレーシアなど新興国との対立が根深い。

Should Japan and the United States fail to resolve their differences, there will be little hope the stalemate in other sectors of the TPP talks will be broken.
 日米対立が続けば、他の難航分野の打開も厳しいだろう。

The two countries must live up to their responsibilities of leading world trade by crafting a new set of trade and investment rules in the TPP negotiations.
TPPで新たな貿易・投資ルールを作り、世界貿易をリードする道を日米がつぶしてはならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 23, 2014)
(2014年2月23日01時39分  読売新聞)

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