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2014年5月23日 (金)

TPP交渉前進 新興国との調整も急ぎたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:19 pm, May 22, 2014
Participating TPP countries must work together toward a speedy conclusion
TPP交渉前進 新興国との調整も急ぎたい

The achievement of a broad agreement in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks has been postponed once again. The 12 participating countries, including Japan and the United States, should strive to make compromises toward a final conclusion.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉は今回も大筋合意を持ち越した。最終決着に向け、日米など12か国は歩み寄りを図るべきである。

In a joint statement issued at the Singapore meeting, ministers from the 12 nations stressed they “cemented our shared views on what is needed to bring negotiations to a close,” and added they had “focused in particular on making meaningful progress on market access and also advanced outstanding rules issues.”
 シンガポールで開かれたTPP閣僚会合は、「交渉妥結に何が必要か、見解を共有した」と強調し、「市場アクセスとルールの課題を前進させた」とする共同声明を発表した。

Akira Amari, state minister in charge of TPP talks, said at a joint press conference: “The fog has started to clear more certainly than before. The negotiations are in their final phase.” It is also meaningful that U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman also praised the two-day meeting, noting that the participating countries have set a precedent for future negotiations.
 甘利TPP相は、「今までよりはるかに霧は晴れてきた。交渉は最終局面にある」と語った。フロマン米通商代表も「今後の道筋を定めることができた」と評価した意義は大きい。

It can be said that they further advanced toward the settlement of the difficult negotiations that have been ongoing for about four years, with the chief negotiators scheduled for another meeting in July. Before that, Japan and the United States plan to resume a bilateral working-level meeting next week.
 約4年間続く難交渉の決着へ、さらに前進したと言えよう。
 7月に次回交渉が行われる。これに先立ち、日米両国は、事務レベル協議を来週再開する。

Bearing in mind the fruits of their bilateral negotiations in April, the two governments should make final adjustments with haste and add an impetus to the TPP talks as a whole. The July meeting will surely be a turning point in negotiations.
 両政府は4月の日米協議の成果を踏まえて最終調整を急ぎ、全体交渉に弾みをつけるべきだ。7月が大きなヤマ場になる。

In Singapore, discussions touched on such issues as five key farm products categories, including beef and pork, which Japan demanded to be treated as exceptions to tariff abolition, and U.S. insistence on wider access to the Japanese car market.
 シンガポールでは、日本が関税撤廃の例外扱いを求める牛肉・豚肉など農産品5項目や、米国が主張する日本の自動車市場への参入拡大などで協議が続けられた。

Domestic pressures

Given the smoldering complaints from affected industries in both Japan and the United States regarding final-stage negotiations, it is important for the two countries’ governments to direct their energy toward the persuasion of the parties concerned.
 これまでの大詰めの交渉に対し、日米の業界で不満もくすぶるだけに、両国政府は関係者への説得に力を注ぐことが大事だ。

Negotiations have yet to be settled in a similar vein between the United States and the emerging economies involved, such as Malaysia and Vietnam, on a range of issues including the reform of state-owned firms and intellectual property rights on the side of the emerging economies.
 米国とマレーシア、ベトナムなど新興国との間でも、新興国の国有企業の在り方や知的財産権に関する交渉が決着していない。

To equalize competitive conditions for foreign capital, the United States has urged the emerging economies to reduce and abolish preferential tax treatment for state-owned companies to protect their own nations’ industries.
 新興国が国有企業に対する税制優遇措置などで自国産業を保護していることに関し、米国は外資の競争条件を対等にするため、縮小・撤廃を求めている。

But the emerging economies show strong resistance to the proposal. The United States should also extend a certain understanding for their domestic situations and attempt to seek common ground.
 新興国の抵抗は強い。米国も新興国の国内事情に一定の理解を示し、妥協点を探るべきだろう。

We are also concerned that the U.S. Congress has yet to pass legislation that will grant trade promotion authority to U.S. President Barack Obama.
 気がかりなのは、米議会がまだ、大統領に通商一括交渉権(TPA)を与える法案を成立させていないことである。

If Congress strengthens protectionist pressure ahead of the U.S. midterm congressional elections in November, the Obama administration’s negotiation stance could be affected and result in prolonging the entire TPP process.
 11月の中間選挙を控えた議会が保護主義的な圧力を強めると、オバマ政権の交渉姿勢に響き、全体の交渉が長期化しかねない。

The TPP pact aims to establish a new free-trade zone in the Asia and Pacific region, creating jobs and promoting economies through an expansion of investment and trade.
 TPPは、アジア太平洋地域で新しい自由貿易圏を構築し、投資や貿易の拡大を通じて、雇用創出や経済振興を図るのが狙いだ。

Taking advantage of vitality in Asia under the pact would become a pillar for Japan’s growth strategy. The nation would reap large economic benefits if rules on trade and investment are established, such as the protection of intellectual property rights.
 TPPでアジアの活力を取り込むことは、日本の成長戦略の柱となる。知的財産権の保護など、貿易や投資ルールを確立できれば、経済効果は大きいだろう。

The final stage of negotiations necessitates a stance with a broad perspective on how the TPP pact can lead to the maximization of Japan’s national interests.
 日本の国益の最大化にどうつなげるか。大局的な姿勢が、交渉の終盤で問われている。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 22, 2014)

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