U.S. Urges Japan to Open Markets Further

Wants Japan to deregulate medical and pharmaceutical industries

Singling out the medical, pharmaceutical and insurance sectors, the U.S. urged Japan on Oct. 18 to take further steps in opening and deregulating its markets.

As part of an annual review of trade relations, the office of the U.S. Trade Representative submitted a list of items seen as priorities for improving bilateral ties. "The U.S. is counting on Japan to remain firmly on the path toward greater economic reform and more open markets. This is a win-win proposition for both our countries," U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said. "These tangible reform steps will help boost growth and opportunity by lowering costs, raising efficiency, and spurring new innovative products and services that will benefit all Japanese citizens."

Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler presented the U.S. recommendations, which include easing regulations for medical devices and pharmaceuticals as well as steps that help ensure fair competition in markets where the new Japan Post companies compete with private companies.

In the medical sector, Washington urged an end to regulatory delays in the introduction of new devices and fair pricing for imported drugs.

The report contained a range of other reform recommendations spanning telecommunications, financial services and other sectors.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

TAGS: Trade
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