Invest Japan Symposium
Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs, Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
Ohaiyou Gozaimasu! Good morning!
It is a pleasure to be with you today and to discuss the importance of the U.S.-Japan economic relationship.
U.S.-Japan Economic Leadership
The U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of U.S. interests in Asia and is fundamental to regional and global stability and prosperity. As President Obama explained during his visit to Japan this May the United States and Japan enjoy, “one of the greatest alliances in the world”.
Our economic partnership is a key aspect of this alliance. We represent the world’s largest and third largest economies. Our bilateral economic relationship is anchored in enormous flows of trade and investment, and is strong, mature, and increasingly interdependent.
Our economic relationship is firmly rooted in the shared interest and responsibility of the United States and Japan to promote global growth, open markets, and support a system of world trade.
We collaborate not only bilaterally, but through important global and regional fora. Our countries are leading the way on global health security and efforts to combat pandemic infection, through Japan’s G-7 leadership on global health. Our nations are cooperating on important issues in APEC as well, such as marine debris, women’s economic empowerment, food security, and the digital economy.
Our private sectors are integral to this alliance. They represent the most innovative companies in the world, and they often find partners across the Pacific Ocean. For example, a U.S. 3D printing company Stratasys Limited recently partnered with Japanese automaker Daihatsu Motors to provide automobile parts customized to customers specifications that are durable, UV resistant and aesthetic, and can be delivered in two weeks what previously took 2-3 month to produce. And Quantum Biosystems, a Japanese company, is developing low cost fourth-generation genome sequencing equipment that can sequence human DNA in a few hours. Quantum Biosystems, taking advantage of U.S. expertise, has established an office in Silicon Valley and set up a research team there to supplement its Osaka lab.
In fact, ties between our nations and private sectors is so significant that Japan accounted for the largest share of FDI to the U.S. in 2013 and the second largest share in both 2015 and 2014;and the United States is Japan’s top foreign direct investor.
Given the ongoing global economic challenges, we must be creative, innovative in our approach to expanding trade and economic opportunities for our people as well. Here again the United States and Japan are leading the way.
Our nations have been joined by ten other Asia Pacific countries in crafting the highest-standard trade agreement ever - the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP, which contains groundbreaking commitments on labor, environment, e-commerce, state-owned enterprises, investment and more.
The 12 TPP countries represent nearly 40 percent of the world’s GDP. TPP levels the playing field for our workers, cuts more than 18,000 taxes various countries put on imported goods, and puts in place strong and enforceable labor and environmental standards. It cuts down the unfair advantages that certain governments grant to companies they own. It protects a free and open Internet and cracks down on the theft of innovation.
It will establish rules of the road for the global trading system that is consistent with our common values and interests. The strategic benefits of TPP – and its contribution to American and Japanese global leadership – cannot be understated.
In the absence of our leadership, other countries will negotiate their own agreements with weak labor and environmental rules that would put jobs and businesses at risk in countries who support high standards. Such likeminded countries – like the United States and Japan - should set the rules of the road for global trade in one of the fastest-growing regions in the world.
Simply put, once TPP is in place, Americans -- and Japanese --will be able to export more of what we make. And that means supporting more higher-paying jobs at home.
We believe that the public and legislatures in TPP countries, including the United States, will agree that the high standards set forth in this agreement will give us the tools we need to make sure our rules are the standard for the Asia Pacific. If we do that, we will make it easier for us to export goods and services while supporting good domestic jobs.
And we will fulfill the vision set out by President Obama earlier this year during a press conference in Tokyo with Prime Minister Abe in which he said we must “continue to boost global growth and to move ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership”.
The world expects the United States and Japan to continue to lead the way, to innovate, and find solutions to the toughest challenges that face the global community. Working together, investing in one another, through people-to-people exchanges, corporate partnerships, and government collaboration, we can continue to provide the creative solutions the world needs. We remain committed to maintaining our great alliance, to jointly innovating, and to investing in one another.