Three years have passed since the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) entered into force on 30 December 2018.
Since Japan's tariff elimination rate under the CPTPP is as high as 95%, there is concern that increased imports will cause serious injury to domestic industries, and there was a great deal of interest in safeguard (SG) measures. Currently transitional SG measures under the CPTPP may only be imposed on specific goods that have undergone staged tariff elimination (staging). For any goods for which the tariff is immediately eliminated upon effective date of the CPTPP, the transition period has already expired. In general, the more sensitive the goods are to the domestic industry, the longer the staging period is set, so it is considered that the need for transitional SG measures will increase as the staging progresses. It seems that there has been no move toward invoking the CPTPP transitional SG measures, but it is necessary to both be prepared to conduct a government investigation of the CPTPP transitional SG measures in a timely manner and to take transitional SG measures as necessary.
In this paper, taking as an example the goods subject to the CPTPP preferential duty rate, where the increase in imports was particularly remarkable, some issues that may be encountered when conducting a government investigation of transitional SG measures will be extracted and possible solutions will be provided.