Japan's Possible Entry Into the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Its Implications [May 16, 2013] [open pdf - 358KB]
"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. On April 20, the 11 TPP countries formally invited Japan to participate in the negotiations. On April 24, Acting USTR [United States Trade Representative] Demetrios Marantis notified Congress of the United States to begin negotiations with Japan as part of the TPP thus beginning a 90-calendar-day consultation period with Congress. Japan wants to be able to participate in the negotiations beginning with an anticipated round in July. 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.'"
CRS Report for Congress, R42676