Trade expert: TPP, Brexit and Trump

Former trade negotiator with Japan’s foreign ministry and recent adviser to Tokyo on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Professor Yorizumi Watanabe (right) and Chief Executive of Asia House Michael Lawrence (left)

Former trade negotiator with Japan’s foreign ministry and recent adviser to Tokyo on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Professor Yorizumi Watanabe (right) and Chief Executive of Asia House Michael Lawrence (left)

Trade expert: TPP, Brexit and Trump

14/03/17

By Lucy Tomlinson

Professor Yorizumi Watanabe, a former trade negotiator with Japan’s foreign ministry and recent adviser to Tokyo on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), briefed Asia House corporate members this morning on the demise of the TPP, the future of trade in Asia under Trump, and the process of delivering an independent trade policy for the UK once it leaves the EU.

Discussion points covered at the briefing included mega trade deals such as the TPP and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); Japan’s reaction to Brexit; the impact of growing protectionist policies on integration in East Asia; and the roles the UK and Japan may play in China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Professor Watanabe gave an exclusive interview to Asia House about the concerns of the Japanese business community in the light of changing global trading architecture. What is the impact of Brexit on East Asian integration? Can the TPP be the TPP without the US? Will China speed up RCEP negotiations in the light of the TPP’s demise? Watch below.

 

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.

Corporate members represented at the table included HSBC, Mitsui & Co. Europe, Diageo, UOB, Eversheds Sutherland, NATS, McKinsey, Prudential and Standard Chartered.

lucy.tomlinson@asiahouse.co.uk

On 20 March, Indonesia’s Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati will brief Asia House corporate members on the economic climate in Indonesia, regional and global issues and Jakarta’s responses. For more information, click here.