Japan - Us Trade Deal Set To Take Effect Jan. 1

Japan-US trade deal set to take effect Jan. 1

A new trade deal between Japan and the US is expected to take effect on January 1 after Japan's government announced it had completed all the necessary procedures.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump agreed to the terms in September. Japanese lawmakers voted on Dec. 4 to approve the deal. Trump says it doesn't need congressional approval, as it is going through under a "fast track" process.

Tokyo has agreed to lower tariffs on US farm products, but by no more than agreed under the Trans-Pacific Partnership that Washington abandoned.

Abe and Trump agreed that Washington will refrain from raising tariffs on Japanese vehicles.

Japan wants the US to scrap all tariffs on automobiles and parts. They agreed to continue negotiations on this point.

Washington and Tokyo plan to start the next round of negotiations within four months of the pact taking effect.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi stressed the significance of the pact, which follows the conclusions of the TPP and the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement.

Motegi said the three deals combined would create a new, free economic zone centering on Japan, covering about 60 percent of the world's economy.

He said Japan will continue to play a leading role to maintain and strengthen the global free trade system.