Report from Japan: On a Mission for Manufacturing

By October 30, 2007Trade

JE_Travel_Blog_Japan.jpg[Editor’s Note: NAM President John Engler is on a two-week trade and business mission to Japan and China, working with U.S. manufacturers and trade officials. We plan regular reports from abroad. In this entry, communications director J.P. Fielder gives us the lay of the land.]

To increase industrial cooperation between the U.S. and our major trading partners in Asia, NAM President John Engler launches two weeks of high-level meetings in Japan and China today.

This evening we landed in Tokyo for a whirlwind tour of the world’s second largest manufacturing nation. Why Japan when everyone is talking about the growth and importance of China and India? Well, Japan remains the world’s second largest economy, still nearly twice the size of China and a major trading partner to the U.S.

On Wednesday we will crisscross Tokyo, beginning with Gov. Engler’s appearance on CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia, followed by meetings with Sony’s President and CEO Dr. Ryoji Chubachi, Honda Chairman Aoki, executives from Nippon Keidanren (the NAM’s equivalent in Japan) and CISTEC, the Center for Infirmation on Security on Trade Controls. All of this before 5 p.m., when we’ll board a train to Nagoya in preparation for Thursday’s meeting with Toyota Chairman Cho (Toyota, based in the aptly named Toyota City, is just outside Nagoya).

Several substantive issues Gov. Engler is looking to discuss throughout the day:

  • U.S. and Japanese roles in the Doha Round of global trade talks.
  • A closer look at the Free Trade Agreement of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), a regional agreement encompassing the entire Pacific basin (link to Peterson Institute study on FTAAP here.
  • How high cost manufacturing industrial countries like Japan and the U.S. compete with rapidly emerging economies in Asia that are lower cost, such as China, India and Vietnam.
  • Other points of interest we’ll keep you updated on after day one in Asia:

  • Sony will provide a tour of its showroom, demostrating their latest products. Check out the new OLED TVs (, an incredible picture and just 3mm thick!
  • Talking policy with NAM’s counterpart, Nippon Keidanren; Japan ranks as the only nation with a higher corporate tax rate than the U.S. (39.5 percent)
  • We’ll take the bullet train to Nagoya; not exactly Amtrak and a certain contrast to the U.S. infrastructure.
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