横浜APEC―自由貿易圏への一歩に

2010/11/13
--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 12
EDITORIAL: Kan's role at APEC forum
横浜APEC―自由貿易圏への一歩に

As leaders of Pacific Rim countries gather in Yokohama for this year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, one question is looming over the conference. Will they share as a realistic goal the vision of a huge free trade zone encompassing nations surrounding the Pacific?
The leaders of 21 countries and regions, including the United States, China and Russia, will discuss ways to ensure sustained economic growth in the region during the summit, which starts Saturday.
 太平洋を囲む国々による自由貿易圏づくりの「夢」は、現実の「目標」として共有されるか。米国や中国、ロシアなど21の国や地域の首脳があすから横浜で、持続的な経済発展の道をめぐって話し合う。

The APEC summit was created to link economies that account for a combined 40 percent of the world's population and 50 percent of the global economic output.
 このアジア太平洋経済協力会議(APEC)首脳会議は、人口で世界の4割、経済規模で5割を占める国々をつなぐために設けられた。

U.S. President Barack Obama is seeking to secure future growth of the U.S. economy under a trade strategy centering on a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).
 オバマ米大統領は、アジア太平洋自由貿易圏(FTAAP)構想の実現を通商戦略の核にすえて今後の成長を図ろうとしている。

This new regional framework for trade liberalization is also important for Japan, which depends on trade for its economic well-being. Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who chairs the APEC summit in Yokohama, should carry out his responsibility to push this idea.
貿易立国の日本にとっても重要な枠組みだ。横浜APECで議長を務める菅直人首相には、構想を後押しする責任をしっかりと果たしてもらいたい。

APEC was launched in 1989 under the initiative of Japan and Australia to build a new framework to promote free trade. The two countries were worried about a growing trend toward creating a regional trade bloc in Europe and North America.
 1989年発足のAPECは、欧州や北米のブロック経済化を懸念した日本と豪州が、自由貿易を推進する新たな枠組みを求めたのがきっかけだった。

APEC provided a strong impetus to the Uruguay round of multilateral trade talks, which had stalled, leading to a successful conclusion to the negotiations.
難航していた多角的貿易交渉も突き動かし、成功に導いた。

After that, however, APEC lost steam and made no notable achievement for years. Part of the blame falls on Japan. Fearing a political confrontation at home over the issue of farm trade liberalization, Tokyo has not gone along with the U.S. call for freer trade.
 しかしその後のAPECは鳴かず飛ばずだった。原因は日本にもある。農業問題での国内対立を恐れ、米国の自由化論についていけなかった。

One important goal set by APEC is achieving "free and open trade and investment" by 2010 among its developed economies.
 APECは2010年までに先進国が「自由で開かれた貿易と投資を達成する」との目標を掲げてきた。

But the reality is far from the ideal, and there is no prospect for a new global agreement after nine years of the Doha round of multilateral trade talks. The dismal outlook has prompted many countries to start separate negotiations with their trade partners, ushering in a new era of bilateral free trade agreements.
だが現実は理想に遠く、多角的貿易交渉ドーハ・ラウンドも9年の交渉を経てなお合意のめどが立っていない。

These moves have made some contribution to liberalizing trade. But they have also created some problems. Different trade rules set by many bilateral pacts make things more complicated for companies with global operations. This is a situation sometimes referred to as a "spaghetti bowl phenomenon."
 多国間交渉に期待をもてない国々は個別交渉に走り、世界はすっかり二国間のFTA(自由貿易協定)時代だ。それで曲がりなりにも自由化が進展したが、弊害もある。協定ごとにルールが異なり、世界で活動する企業にとって対応が複雑になることだ。からまっためんのような「スパゲティ・ボール現象」とも言われる。

Against this backdrop, the APEC summit in Yokohama offers a good opportunity for Pacific Rim leaders to acknowledge the importance of a multilateral trade pact.
 横浜APECは、こうした問題を背景に各国首脳らが多国間協定の大切さを改めて認め合う好機である。

There are encouraging signs that the upcoming discussion will be lively. The United States has shown enthusiasm to hold talks on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a framework that currently involves nine countries and would eliminate tariffs and trade barriers, stimulating fresh debate. Japan has hastily decided to consider its participation in the talks. China has also shown interest.
幸い、議論は活発化しそうだ。関税撤廃をめざす9カ国の環太平洋パートナーシップ協定(TPP)交渉に米国が積極姿勢を示したことが刺激剤となっている。日本があわてて交渉参加を検討し、中国も関心を示した。

If Tokyo joins, the TPP would form a vast free trade zone including both the United States and Japan.
 TPPに日本が参加すれば、日米を含む巨大自由貿易圏となる。

Then, the FTAAP would no longer be a simple vision. It would evolve into the next goal. That would also raise hope for a revival of the moribund Doha round.
そのときはFTAAPはもはや「夢」ではない。次なる「目標」に進化するだろう。死に体のドーハ・ラウンドが生き返る希望も見えてくる。

With the world economy in a bind, it is all the more important now to expand free trade instead of limiting the scope of trade with protectionist measures.
 世界経済が苦境に陥った今こそ、保護主義で貿易を小さく囲い込むのでなく、自由貿易を広げていくことが求められる。

This is a very important lesson from the Great Depression 80 years ago and the subsequent world war.
80年前の世界恐慌とその後の世界大戦の歴史の教訓である。

The outcome of APEC's efforts to establish a regional free trade zone goes a long way toward determining whether the lesson will be put into good use. As chairman of the Yokohama gathering, Kan has a big role to play.
 APECの自由貿易圏づくりは、その教訓を生かせるかどうかのカギを握る。菅議長の役割は重大だ。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-11-15 06:42 | 英字新聞

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