Japan, Canada to Talk for Economic Partnership Agreement

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry announced on Sunday Japanese and Canadian prime ministers agreed to start negotiation for economic partnership agreement. Japanese steel industry could increase indirect export when the agreement would remove tariff for automobile and appliances while the impact would small for direct steel export and import of iron making raw materials.

Canadian import tariff is 6.1% for Japanese automobile, which represents more than 20% for Canadian import from Japan. Japanese automobile industry is the largest beneficiary when South Korea is finishing free trade agreement with Canada.

Japanese total steel export was 184,618 tonnes for Canada in 2011 including 61,527 tonnes for pipe products and 11,203 tonnes for plate. Canada imposes maximum 7% tariff on some of Japanese steel products but the export is tax free for most of Japanese steel products. Canadian coking coal represented 22.5% of Japanese total coking coal import in 2011 while Canadian iron ore represented 0.9% of total iron ore import. Japanese steel makers can import the raw materials with free tax.

Japan already has 13 of economic partnership agreements and negotiations with 3 countries. The negotiation start with Canada is 18th case for Japanese government just after the government agreed with Mongolian government to start the negotiation.