Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker met with representatives from the Japanese healthcare and energy sectors as part of a series of roundtables to discuss American and Japanese business relationships and improve U.S. investment in the Japanese market. These events are part of the Secretary’s trade mission to establish new partnerships and expand the market presence of U.S. medical/pharmaceutical and energy-related companies with innovative products and services.
The roundtable provided U.S. and Japanese entities the chance to share views about the opportunities that exist in the Japanese market and to encourage the development of partnerships that may lead to future breakthroughs in the energy and health sectors.
Secretary Pritzker also delivered a keynote address at an event sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) and the Japanese Industry Association, Keizai Doyukai. She opened her remarks by thanking Ambassador Kennedy, who is working side by side with the Commerce Department’s Foreign Commercial Service Officers stationed in Japan and thanked the team, led by Andrew Wylegala.
During her remarks, Secretary Pritzker emphasized the important role that U.S. and Japanese businesses play in anchoring our relationship, highlighted the U.S. as a key destination for investment, promoted the upcoming SelectUSA Summit on foreign investment, and highlighted the healthcare and energy sectors as two sectors of critical importance to growth, innovation, and quality of life in both countries.
Secretary Pritzker touched on America’s drive to strengthen commercial partnerships, help Japan develop new energy technology, optimize the mix of energy imports, and increase energy conservation. The U.S. anticipates continued high growth in the renewable energy sector, providing excellent opportunities for American firms that have cutting-edge, cost-competitive products and services.
Today, Japan boasts a $153 billion market for medical and health products, while having health expenditures second only to the United States. Japan is looking for ways to care for a rapidly-aging population with state-of-the-art technologies in a cost effective manner – and American firms want to be more present in this market.
Secretary Pritzker also highlighted the importance of having a vision and an economic architecture that helps build the future of the U.S. – Japan trade. The United States and Japan are negotiating with ten other countries to conclude the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 21st century agreement that will enhance trade and investment among TPP countries and promote innovation, economic growth, and development. Secretary Pritzker said that concluding this agreement will give middle class consumers better access to high-quality goods and services and manufacturers, farmers, and ranchers in both the U.S. and Japan will have access to markets that allow them to compete fairly.
If the TPP agreement occurs, the Peterson Institute estimates that Japan’s annual GDP gains from the agreement will be close to $100 billion in 2025 and export gains for Japan are projected
to be roughly $140 billion by 2025. For the United States, real income benefits of TPP will be close to $77 billion per year.
The U.S. Department of Commerce plays a pivotal role in expanding market access for U.S. companies in countries around the world, and this mission serves to explore opportunities for partnership and investment. It continues tomorrow in Seoul, South Korea.