Professor Yorizumi Watanabe, a former Ministry of Foreign Affairs trade negotiator and recent advisor to Tokyo on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has said the ‘America First’ policy of the new US administration threatens to put the global economy back into a 1930s-style Great Depression.
Watanabe has been forthright in his opinion that Japan should push back against protectionism, and that the TPP-11 countries should continue the deal without changing the rules that have already been agreed upon. He has suggested that the US may be encouraged to return to the TPP deal, or at least replicate similar terms from the TPP for a bilateral trade deal with Japan. He was interviewed by Bloomberg in February on ‘Can Japan Coax the US Back to a TPP deal?’
Watanabe has done extensive research on further economic partnership agreements and free trade deals (FTAs) including the Japan-EU trade deal, Asia-Pacific FTA (FTAAP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Can the EU-Japan FTA be completed in the coming months? What are the prospects for the Asia-Pacific FTA (FTAAP)? Could China now dominate the trade scene with Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)?
Watanabe will join Asia House corporate members for a discussion on the current trends in bilateral and multilateral economic partnership agreements and FTAs as both the UK and the US enter a new era of negotiations.
Currently a Professor at Keio University, Watanabe specialises in trade policy studies based on the WTO trade laws and rules. During his time as Deputy Director-General for Economic Affairs at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he was responsible for the Russia’s accession to the WTO. He was also chief negotiator during the Japan-Mexico Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations. Professor Watanabe is now a member of the task force on the Japan-India EPA and the Japan-EU Economic Integration Agreement.
This briefing is invitation only. Please contact Conor Paterson in the Business & Policy Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 307 5439, for more details.