TORONTO—The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association of Canada (JAMA Canada) is pressing the Canadian and Japanese governments to pursue an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) ahead of the third round of negotiations during the week of July 8 in Tokyo, Japan.
“Canada and Japan have a long history of harmonious relations, largely complementary economies and there are tremendous benefits for both countries if a deal can be reached,” said Jerry Chenkin, JAMA Canada’s Chairman said. “We urge the negotiating teams to build on this history, accelerate the discussions and complete the EPA as soon as possible, particularly given the focus of both countries on larger, more complicated negotiations including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
One third of Japanese vehicles sold in Canada are imported from Japan, which are currently pegged with a 6.1% import tariff here in Canada.
JAMA claims the Canada-Japan EPA would result in nearly US$9 billion in GDP gains for Canada and as much as US$4.9 billion for Japan.
This figure comes from the Joint Study on the Possibility of a Canada-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement report conducted by the government of Canada in March 2012.
The report found “…sufficient common ground to launch the negotiation of a comprehensive and high-level EPA, leading to additional trade flows and economic gains for both Canada and Japan.”
As a comprehensive free trade negotiation, the EPA would go far beyond tariffs by addressing non-tariff trade barriers, technical standards, intellectual property rights and other issues, encouraging cross-border investment and , supposedly, creating well-paid skilled jobs for Canadians.
JAMA Canada was established in 1984 to enhance understanding on trade and economic issues in the automotive sector and to promote closer cooperation between Canada and Japan.