The Almost Free US-Japan Trade Agreement Is Now In Effect

Author:Mr Richard Newcomb, Sandra Lee Bell and Thomas Reynolds
Profession:DLA Piper

While we all were celebrating the New Year's, January 1, 2020 quietly ushered in a new trade agreement for the United States. The "Trade Agreement between the United States of America and Japan" (US-Japan Trade Agreement) is the newest free trade agreement that benefits US importers and exporters.1 Signed on October 7, 20192 along with the US-Japan Digital Trade Agreement, the US-Japan Trade Agreement only became effective on New Year's Day after development of the applicable legal procedures. Importantly, it does not cover automobiles and automotive parts, but the two countries have agreed to continue further negotiations with respect to the elimination of customs duties on these types of goods.3

Generally, this US-Japan Trade Agreement reduces or eliminates US customs duties on approximately 241 8-digit subheadings of goods classified under the following Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) chapters:

vegetable products vegetable fats and oils sugars and sugar confectionery cocoa and cocoa preparations miscellaneous edible preparations inorganic chemicals, etc. organic chemicals soap, organic surface-active agents, washing preparations, certain waxes, etc. photographic or cinematographic goods miscellaneous chemical products plastics and articles thereof rubber and articles thereof ceramic products glass and glassware articles of iron or steel copper and articles thereof aluminum and articles thereof base metal tools, parts, etc. miscellaneous articles of base metal nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery, etc. electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles railway and tramway-related articles vehicles other than railway and tramway stock, and parts and accessories thereof optical, photographic, cinematographic, measuring, checking, precision, medical or surgical instruments and apparatus; parts and accessories thereof musical instruments, etc. toys, games, sports requisites, etc. miscellaneous manufactured articles If an imported article is classified in one of the listed HTSUS subheadings, it then may be eligible for reduced or eliminated tariff savings. However, some subheadings are subject to staging categories that will gradually phase out duties over the next ten years, and products eligible for tariff savings under the US-Japan Trade Agreement are still...

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