Washington, D.C. - Today, United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk commented on the changes announced to Japan's Eco-friendly Vehicle Purchase Program (Japan's version of "cash-for-clunkers"). From Ambassador Kirk:
"I welcome the objective of the modifications that Japan made today to its automotive "cash-for-clunkers" program. Today's announcement opens opportunities for U.S. autos imported using Japan's Preferential Handling Procedure (PHP) certification process to qualify under that program. We are currently evaluating the details of Japan's announcement to ensure it meets the concerns my office has been raising with Japan since last fall. USTR will continue to work with our trading partners to ensure that American automakers and workers receive fair treatment in Japan and around the world."
USTR has been raising concerns about access for U.S. automobiles to Japan's Eco-friendly Vehicle Purchase Program. Of specific concern has been that U.S. autos imported using Japan's PHP import certification process were not eligible to qualify under Japan's purchase program. The change Japan announced today opens opportunities for autos imported using the PHP process to qualify, taking into account U.S. fuel economy ratings for specific automobiles.