Japan automobile association says favors free trade

FILE PHOTO: Newly manufactured vehicles await export at port in Yokohama
FILE PHOTO: Newly manufactured vehicles await export at a port in Yokohama, Japan, January 16, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

May 18, 2018

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s automaking association on Friday said it hoped the country’s export partners would keep tariffs on vehicles and vehicle components low and maintain free trade relationships to promote and strengthen transparent trade.

“The global auto industry has a complex supply chain, so we hope to see regulations that will allow for free trade,” Seiichi Nagatsuka, an executive member of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association told reporters at a briefing.

“Tariffs should be low and rules should be established to maintain trade transparency.”

The United States is a major market for Japanese automakers, which operate plants in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

Washington has been pushing for new terms for the North American Free Trade Agreement, including demands to boost the North American content of cars made in the three signatory nations. It is also mulling tougher environmental rules for imported cars to protect U.S. automakers.

(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu)

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