Els dotze països negociant l'Associació Trans-Pacífic (TPP) acord de comerç es van reunir a Washington, DC la setmana passada i al tancament d'aquesta reunió va anunciar vols celebrar una altra ronda informal a finals de gener, una altra vegada als EUA, seguida d'una reunió ministerial al febrer o març. Aquestes reunions són part d'un esforç per concloure les negociacions per mitjans d'any a 2015.

Whether that timeline can be met will be determined by one country – Japan. It has been in continuing discussions with the U.S. sobre el comerç en automòbils i cinc categories agrícoles – arròs, blat, vedella i porc, productes lactis i el sucre. No one expected anything to come from those talks until after the U.S. Les eleccions al novembre i eleccions dels diputats japonès el desembre 14.

Ministre japonès Shinzo Abe anomenat eleccions mig camí a través de la durada de la Cambra baixa de la dieta (Parlament). He sought to reconfirm his mandate for reforms in economic, estrangers, militar, nuclear energy and social policies. His Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) directament va guanyar 291 de la 475 seats in the lower House. The LDP’s coalition partner, el partit de causa recolzat budista de Komei, controla una altra 35 seats. La 326 seients pel bloc dirigent són més que els dos-terços Super-majoria de 317 i que podria possibilitar la coalició per invalidar la resistència a la Cambra alta. La coalició pot tenir algunes desercions i encara es conserven la majoria súper.

Mentre que el primer ministre té una agenda gran, l'element principal ha estat i continua sent la política econòmica-el que es coneix com Abenomics-a la fi el lent creixement econòmic dels darrers 20 anys. Abenomics has three parts: relaxació monetària, estímul fiscal i reformes estructurals dissenyats per posar el Japó en el camí de creixement econòmic sostingut. The monetary easing lowered the value of the Japanese Yen so Japanese products better competed in international markets and the additional fiscal stimulus with borrowed money increased infrastructure spending and social outlays. To appease those policymakers who were opposed to more debt and a devalued Yen, Sr.. Abe va acordar d'augmentar l'impost sobre les vendes Nacional de 5 per cent a 8 per cent i després de 10 per cent. The first tax increase totally offset the monetary and fiscal policies and led to declining economic activity for two quarters in a row – what is commonly called a recession. The second step of the sales tax increase has been delayed.

Malgrat aquest gir dels esdeveniments, the ruling bloc won over two-thirds of the seats in the lower House. Voter turnout was estimated at 52.7 per cent, avall gairebé 7 punts de percentatge de la 2012 election and a post-World War II low. The election largely ignored the ‘third arrow’ of Abenomicseconomic reforms intended to raise productivity and competitiveness across Japan’s declining workforce and effectively compete in world markets. Sr.. Abe didn’t campaign on these themes. He hardly mentioned the TPP. Alguns dels membres de la casa LDP es basen en les zones rurals per a suport i por exposició agricultors a la competència global.

That structural reforms are needed in Japan is not an issue. That has been repeatedly studied from inside and outside Japan. It is not a new idea. The Prime Minister knew all of this before he became Prime Minister. He also knew that hundreds of good market opening plans have been defeated by forces within the LDP and/or by special interest lobbying. Sr.. Pregunta de Abe és res ha canviat? He has promoted and managed TPP participation since he became Prime Minister two years ago and understands the need for reforms and the fierce opposition to them. The solution must be found within the LDP and within the special interest lobbying groups.

Some Japanese policy analysts continue to believe nothing will happen with those third arrow economic reforms. That would leave Mr. Polítiques econòmiques de Abe basat en un baix valor ien i més despesa pública, els quals no siguin sostenibles per si mateixos. He would lose the support of the many people who want real economic reforms. The economic events of the past year have shown that real economic policy reforms are essential to moving the Japanese economy forward and preparing for an aging population.

Mentre que hi ha una necessitat de reformes econòmiques, some say that things have not gotten so bad they will force change. Most people have a relatively high quality of life. If that quality begins to decrease and forces changes in economic policies, pot ser massa tard per salvar llavors la qualitat de vida.

Des de les eleccions, there have been some news reports about serious preparation for economic reforms. A Bloomberg story mentioned dairy and meat tariffs among the items at issue in the TPP talks. A non-tariff quota for U.S. importacions d'arròs de sobre 100,000 metric tons a year was also listed as a potential change. The farm lobby’s power may be reduced because retiring farmers aren’t being replaced by a younger generation. Sr.. Abe ha reduït alguns pagaments a agricultors en els dos últims anys.

Segons un informe de U dins. Comerç, the TPP countries have decided to start a ‘legal scrub’ of the seven completed chapters of the agreement to shorten the time needed between the completion of negotiations and the official signing of the agreement. També, el govern australià va anunciar que el nou Japó-Austràlia econòmics Associació acord entrarà en vigor el gener 15 de l'any vinent. While it is not as comprehensive as the TPP, es inclouen elements sensibles com la vedella i indica l'acceptació d'algun canvi de política comercial.

Timing is an issue for the TPP agreement. This is the first opportunity after the elections for the Prime Minister to use the third arrow and he cannot avoid impacting farmers. The other countries in the TPP want to move forward now because political events make moving now the best option. Some have suggested leaving Japan behind, però Japó és massa important per agrícola, industrial and consumer markets for that to happen. Japan wants to stay in to gain access to TPP country markets and to remain competitive with countries like South Korea that may ask to join after the agreement is signed.

Other TPP countries can only wait and watch. Japan’s leaders have talked about negotiating in their country’s national interest. We should not ask them to do otherwise.

Ross Korves és un comerç i analista de política econòmica de veritat sobre comerç &Tecnologia (www.truthabouttrade.org). Segueix-nos: @TruthAboutTrade i @World_Farmers a Twitter |Veritat sobre comerç & Tecnologia en Facebook.