U.S.-Japan Trade:

Interim Report on Sector-Selective Agreements

NSIAD-87-186BR: Published: Jul 10, 1987. Publicly Released: Jul 10, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO evaluated U.S. initiatives to further open Japanese markets and reduce nontariff barriers, focusing on the effects of the Market-Oriented Sector-Selective (MOSS) talks on the telecommunications and pharmaceuticals and medical equipment industries.

GAO found that: (1) the telecommunications and pharmaceuticals and medical equipment sectors were particularly appropriate for negotiations under the MOSS framework, since U.S. industries in those sectors were internationally competitive and stood to gain a sizable market share in Japan if both formal and informal trade barriers were eliminated; (2) prior negotiations between the United States and Japan resulted in the identification of certain primary agenda issues and common interests, which led to the successful achievement of many of the MOSS objectives and substantial bilateral agreements in each sector; (3) although most U.S. industry and government officials were supportive of the MOSS process and pleased with the agreements reached, industry representatives generally were unable to attribute measurable increases in exports or market share directly to the MOSS process and stressed the need for continued U.S. pressure to ensure that the agreements achieved thus far yield real market opportunities; and (4) it was too soon to judge the full impact of the MOSS agreements, since reliable data were not available to develop an accurate and quantifiable determination of success.

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