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Romney: Ban Japan from free trade talks

The Destroit News | June 15, 2012

Romney: Ban Japan from free trade talks

By David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

Washington — U.S. automakers are sharply opposed to allowing Japan into the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks. They argue that the Asian nation hasn’t done enough to open its market to U.S. auto exports.

"Governor Romney does not support including Japan in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations at this time," campaign spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said. "Governor Romney believes reaching a trade agreement with Japan or including them in TPP would have enormous benefits for the American economy, but the governor also recognizes that negotiating such an agreement and ensuring open access to the Japanese market would take time."

Earlier this week, a trade group representing Detroit’s Big Three automakers expressed concern that an adviser to Romney supports Japan’s entry into a Pacific free-trade agreement.

Former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, a trade adviser to Romney, recently said the Obama administration should include Japan, Canada and Mexico in the talks. The Trans-Pacific Partnership talks currently include Australia, Chile, Peru, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand and Vietnam. Japan, Canada and Mexico have asked to join the talks.

American Automotive Policy Council President Matt Blunt said Japan should not be allowed into the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

"As policymakers take a stand against unfair trade practices, they must consider Japan’s notoriously closed auto market as a primary reason to disqualify them from joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership at this time," said Blunt, a former Republican Missouri governor.

 source: The Detroit News