More than six-dozen members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday stood up for Japanese automakers as the manufactures battle their U.S. counterparts over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade agreement.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, whose administration is trying to wrap up negotiations on the pan-Pacific deal with Japan and 10 other countries this year, a bipartisan group of 78 members of Congress said Japanese carmakers are a major part of the U.S. manufacturing and business sectors. The congressional coalition, led by Representatives Pete Gallego (D-Texas) and Alan Nunnelee (R-Miss.), noted that Japanese automakers have invested $47.1 billion in the United States, creating nearly 420,000 jobs.
Japan joined the TPP talks earlier this year, despite opposition from the U.S. automotive industry, which has expressed concerns about the country's closed market. Demetrios Marantis said in a statement in April as the then acting U.S. trade representative that the United States had worked with Japan to ensure the country's "readiness to meet the TPP's high standards for liberalizing trade and investment, and to address specific bilateral issues of concern in the automotive and insurance sectors."