We should welcome and encourage Japan’s interest in freer trade.
But let’s not roll out the red carpet for TPP’s arrival just yet.
Abe is the seventh Prime Minister of Japan in six years, so it might come as no surprise that his government’s plan to boost Japan’s stagnant economy is designed to play well at home.
To that end the Abe administration has proposed managed inflation and quantitative easing, monetary policies that amount to currency manipulation. A weaker yenis a tool Japan has often relied upon to push down imports and boost exports.
So, if and when Japan sits down to talk about a lucrative TPP deal, American workers and corporate executives alike will be watching closely to see if the path forward is based on reciprocity and a shared understanding of market-based currency disciplines. This should include specific commitments to eliminate currency manipulation among TPP countries along with other non-tariff barriers that place American products at a disadvantage in foreign markets.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor from