By  on January 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said Friday it had reached a nonbinding agreement in principle with Japan that provides for the loosening of advertising and labeling rules on some U.S. cosmetic products.

The U.S. and Japan launched a trade arrangement dubbed the Economic Harmonization Initiative in 2010 to help spur economic growth in both countries by promoting a streamlining of trade facilitation measures and to address business issues. Friday’s agreement in principle under the EHI paves the way for a nonbinding agreement between the two countries to allow U.S. companies to claim that their cosmetics products minimize the appearance of fine lines due to dryness through advertising and labeling.

Japan also agreed to further streamline the import process for cosmetics and medicated cosmetics.

“I welcome the progress we have made through the U.S.-Japan Economic Harmonization Initiative, which expands job-supporting business and export opportunities for American entrepreneurs, workers, manufacturers and service providers,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said. “Addressing issues of concern and working closely together to advance new areas of cooperation will further deepen our relationship with Japan — a strong ally and our fourth-largest export market.”

In the release of the “record of discussion” Friday, the USTR commented, “The U.S. government welcomes that this addition [to Japan’s preapproved efficacy claims list] will allow for consumers to make more informed decisions.”

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