Japan's Possible Entry Into the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Its Implications [April 12, 2013]   [open pdf - 353KB]

"On March 15, 2013, Prime Minister Abe announced that Japan would formally seek to participate in the negotiations to establish the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Japan's membership in the TPP with the United States would constitute a 'de facto' U.S.-Japan FTA. On April 12, 2013, the United States announced its support for Japan's participation in the TPP. The announcement comes after a series of discussions on conditions for U.S. support and outstanding bilateral issues. As a result of the discussions the two sides agreed on measures to address these issues during and in parallel with the main TPP negotiations. Japan's participation is still contingent on a consensus among the 11 current TPP partners to allow Japan to do so. The TPP would be a free trade agreement (FTA) among at least the current 11 participants-- Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. The United States and its TPP partners envision the agreement as 'a comprehensive, next-generation regional agreement that liberalizes trade and investment and addresses new and traditional trade issues and 21st century challenges.' Congress has a direct and oversight role in the issue of U.S. participation in the TPP. It must approve implementing legislation, if the TPP is to apply to the United States. Some Members of Congress have already weighed in on whether Japan should be allowed to participate in the TPP and under what conditions. More may do so as the process proceeds."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42676
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