In May 2018, the Trump administration opened an investigation into imports of cars and spare parts under Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which allows the president to impose tariffs when the U.S. Department of Commerce finds that imports of a particular product threaten U.S. national security. The Commerce Department released its report in February 2019, which concluded that some imports of cars and spare parts posed a threat to U.S. national security. Trump accepted the results, but delayed a decision on the imposition of tariffs to give time for negotiations on the issue with the European Union and Japan. Trump then decided not to impose tariffs, but the issue remained a major concern for Japanese trade officials. 15. U.S.
Customs and Border Services, CSMS #41149692, U.S.-Japan trade agreement: information on the request for preferential treatment. www.cbp.gov/trade/free-trade-agreements/japan. The U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement (USJTA) came into force on January 1, 2020. In that agreement, Japan committed to grant the United States significant market access by phasing in most tariffs, implementing significant tariff reductions or allowing a certain volume of imports at a lower price. Once the USJTA is fully implemented, nearly 90% of U.S. food and agricultural products imported into Japan will be duty-free or preferential tariff access. Under the Agriculture Agreement, a Member State of the World Trade Organization (WTO) can take safeguard measures to protect a certain domestic industry from increased imports from other Member States (WTO, 1994). Japan`s special beef safeguard clause increased tariffs by up to 50% if beef imports exceeded 117% of the amount imported in the previous fiscal year (Muhammad, Countryman and Heerman, 2018). In August 2017, the United States triggered the special safeguard clause for beef and increased tariffs on frozen beef in the United States from 38.5% to 50% between August 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018 (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2019c). However, effective April 1, 2020, Japan`s special WTO beef safeguard clause applies only to countries with which Japan does not have an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) (U.S.
Department of Agriculture, 2019c). Otherwise, Japan`s beef imports will be covered by separate trade agreements, making WTO safeguards redundant (USDA, 2019c). European Commission. 2020. The first year of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement shows growth in EU exports. Available online: trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=2107. 9. www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-secured-tremendous-victory-american-farmers-businesses-new-japan-trade-agreements/. Nickel, R. 2019, January 10, Pacific Trade Deal Spurs Canadian Farm Sales to Japan as U.S.