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Joining the New Trade Club

Japan auto manufacturing

Japan, Taiwan and South Korea want to ease rigid labor practices, which could introduce income inequalities in what are now solidly middle-class societies.

There is a last-minute rush by three advanced economies in East Asia to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that could be concluded this spring. Japan barely made the deadline to become a negotiating member last summer, while Taiwan and South Korea have announced interest in joining once a trade pact is established.

But there are pitfalls. Japan, Taiwan and South Korea want to ease rigid labor practices to make their economies more dynamic. There lies the danger of introducing income inequalities in what are now solidly middle-class societies.

From the New York Times

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