Bargaining with Japan: What American Pressure Can and Cannot Do

Bargaining with Japan: What American Pressure Can and Cannot Do

Bargaining with Japan: What American Pressure Can and Cannot Do

Bargaining with Japan: What American Pressure Can and Cannot Do

Excerpt

The more things change the more they stay the same. In the time since the Bush Administration named Japan an "unfair trader" under the Super 301 trade legislation of 1988 and launched a series of sectoral and structural trade talks, the Soviet Union has disintegrated, Japan's long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has been ousted from power, Bush has been replaced by Clinton, and the two nations' economies have moved in opposite directions--with formerly booming Japan suffering from the aftereffects of the burst "bubble" while the United States enjoys a sustained recovery. Economic relations between the two nations, however, seem to have been impervious to all of this change: America threatens, Japan reacts, and the fundamental problems remain unaddressed even as ties between the countries become more and more strained. The arrival of two new administrations on each side of the Pacific in 1993 was marked by the start of a new round of trade talks, this time known formally as the U. S.-Japan Framework for a New Economic Partnership. The topics covered in these Framework Talks, though, were hardly new. Auto parts and autos, government procurement of telecommunications, medical equipment, supercomputers and satellites, keiretsu business groups, and macroeconomic policy have all been the subject of numerous prior rounds of negotiations. Cellular phones and construction market access, subjects of concurrent discussions, have also been staples of the diet of trade rows which has kept several generations of American . . .
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