U.S.-Japan Trade

Evaluation of the Market-Oriented Sector-Selective Talks Gao ID: NSIAD-88-205 July 18, 1988

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the results of the Market-Oriented Sector-Selective (MOSS) talks between the United States and Japan, focusing on how the talks helped U.S. firms to conduct business in Japan.

GAO found that U.S. business representatives: (1) were generally positive about the outcome of the MOSS talks; (2) believed that the high-level government negotiations and ongoing government and industry interaction were essential to the negotiations' success; (3) generally believed that it is still very difficult to gain access to the Japanese market; (4) believed that the MOSS agreements led to fairer treatment for their products in the Japanese market; and (5) did not believe that the MOSS talks alone greatly increased their access to the Japanese market. GAO also found that the MOSS talks achieved varying levels of success in reducing or eliminating Japanese trade barriers in various sectors, including: (1) major changes in the telecommunications sector, such as increased access and elimination of many restrictive regulations; (2) easing of requirements for medical equipment and pharmaceutical testing, approval, and licensing; (3) tariff reductions for several categories of wood and paper; and (4) reduced tariffs on computer parts and telecommunications equipment and establishment of intellectual property protection for original designs.

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