Japan says gaps remain with US on trade after ‘very tough’ talks

22 Août, 2019, 13:45 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Japan U.S. ministers meet for trade talks as hopes for early deal fade

"Issues that need to be sorted out in ministerial-level talks have been narrowed down quite a bit", Motegi told reporters after meeting with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

As separate trade talks with China and Europe have made little headway, Trump is keen to clinch an early deal with Japan that would open up its politically sensitive agriculture sector, as well as curbing Japan's US -bound auto exports.

The stakes are high today, with both sides aiming for a preliminary agreement that can be signed off on by President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when they meet next month at the UN General Assembly in NY.

But progress towards reaching a deal has been slow, Japanese government officials with knowledge of the negotiations say.

It will be a very tough negotiation.

U.S. President Donalt Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Japanese automobile exports to the United States, claiming that it was a national security matter.

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"We agreed to speed up discussions and work on the remaining issues for an early achievement of results", he said.

A coalition of US dairy groups is urging the Trump administration to reach a trade agreement with Japan quickly. Meanwhile, the United States government is demanding from Japan to open its markets for American agricultural goods and to do whatever they consider necessary to fix the trade imbalance between both countries.

Trump also wants to open up Japan's market for agriculture goods and beef.

The letter says the Japan-EU agreement and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership have allowed the European Union, New Zealand and Australia to position themselves to take sales from the USA dairy industry. Trump pulled the United States out of TPP when he took office in 2017.

This partial trade agreement is expected to involve opening up Japan's agricultural market to United States goods in exchange for reductions in USA industrial tariffs.

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