Cutler Discusses TPP in Embassy Press Conference

Wendy Cutler, Acting Deputy USTR
August 9, 2013

Opening Remarks

Today we concluded our first round of parallel bilateral negotiations to the TPP on autos, insurance and on other non-tariff measures.

Our bilateral negotiations this week, which were held from Wednesday through today, have followed very soon after Japan's entry into the TPP negotiations on July 23.

During our meetings this week, we shared with Japan our initial views on the issues that are on our agenda in these parallel negotiations.

On autos, we discussed issues in areas agreed to in our Motor Vehicle Trade Terms of Reference, standards, certifications, financial incentives, transparency, and distribution. I underscored the importance of a strong outcome from our negotiations in this sector which addresses a range of non-tariff measures and a special and accelerated Dispute Settlement mechanism. In this regard, we look to find ways to avoid non-tariff measure issues in the future.

On insurance, we shared our views on the elements necessary to establish a level playing field between Japan Post Insurance and private sector companies. We welcomed the recent announcement between Japan Post and one US insurance company as a positive step forward, but made clear that this does not solve the broad concerns we have in this area.

We also discussed a range of non-tariff measures, both sector-specific and cross-cutting in nature, in line with the areas listed in the exchange of letters between our Governments on April 12 of this year.

The negotiations got off to a good start this week, and we recognize that we have a great deal of challenging work ahead of us. We agreed to set the date for our next session through diplomatic channels.

During my visit, I also had the opportunity to meet with Japanese Government officials to discuss the TPP negotiations more generally.

I underscored the importance of concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement this year and I was encouraged to learn about the efforts of the Japanese negotiators to come up to speed with the details of the negotiations so that they can contribute at the next TPP round in Brunei.

I also pointed out the many areas in the negotiation where the United States and Japan have shared objectives and can work effectively together to ensure a high-standard outcome in the TPP.

In sum, my meetings were useful and helped lay the groundwork for a productive visit to Japan by Ambassador Froman on August 19.

Before closing, I wanted to express my deep appreciation to Ambassador Roos who is leaving Tokyo shortly. He has been an incredible advocate for the strengthening of U.S.-Japan relations, including our economic relationship and played an important role in advancing TPP.