politics

Japan, U.S. agree to start talks on bilateral trade deal, shelving auto tariffs

28 Comments
By Steve Holland and David Lawder

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28 Comments
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Odd handshake for an odd couple.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

After all, Japan has to go along with U.S. If it is not Abe, Japan could not will not do well with Trump. Trump is the most unique president in American history.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Lol and round and round we go. Doing this decimates ldps 'voting' base. Nothing to see here folks.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I think Trump will get some definitive concessions this time. Japan will sweeten the pot and Trump will take the deal.... he needs to because it will put more pressure on China.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I work in the auto parts industry in Japan. And I don't know much about this free trade agreements. Does anyone think my job could be jeopardized?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

"This was something that for various reasons over the years Japan was unwilling to do and now they are willing to do. So we're very happy about that, and I'm sure that we will come to a satisfactory conclusion, and if we don't, ohhhhhh," Trump said.

Abe's in hot water

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I loved the color of Abe's necktie!

Another concession .... I mean, it was "all golden".

Concerning the trade agreement, let's wait and see.

The great US leader has ripped apart more than one shortly after the discussion.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Trump keeps ripping up the entire worlds trade playbooks!

Now that he’s reconfigured it all, his future re election success will probably depend on it.

If America ends up better off fiscally with his trade wars then his already large base who’ll support him regardless will only grow.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If I were PM Abe I wouldn't want to discuss anything with Trump. I wouldn't want to talk with him. I wouldn't even want to be in the same building as him. I'd have nothing to say to him - nothing positive, that is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's funny how in the Japanese media they are saying that it's not an FTA (Free Trade Agreement) but a TAG (Trade Agreement on Goods).

Didn't Abe just tell the UN that Japan was going to go for Free Trade?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

It's funny how in the Japanese media they are saying that it's not an FTA (Free Trade Agreement) but a TAG (Trade Agreement on Goods).

Didn't Abe just tell the UN that Japan was going to go for Free Trade?

fxgai, I think this is a technical issue to do with the terminology. Under WTO rules, the term "FTA" can only be used for an agreement that covers "substantially all trade" between the parties. In this case, certainly Abe is advocating free trade, but he is only talking about the goods sector, esp. automobiles. In his press conference he was clear about ruling out agriculture (para 8 above). This is vital for Japanese farmers, and the Government makes sure that the media reports it right.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It will never be a FREE trade deal.  Just a trade deals with all sorts of tariffs on each party's protected or politically sensitive products.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It's funny how in the Japanese media they are saying that it's not an FTA (Free Trade Agreement) but a TAG (Trade Agreement on Goods).

Agreed , Abe and LDP are trying to put a best possible spin on the fact that they are now negotiating an FTA that for so long they said would not do...so calling it a TAG is just a pathetic face saving exercise.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

*If I were PM Abe I wouldn't want to discuss anything with Trump. I wouldn't want to talk with him. I wouldn't even want to be in the same building as him.*

Now now,,,when push comes to shove Sinzo will always do what his US master will say.

He has no choice really.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

It IS an FTA, but the Japanese government are saying it’s a TAG to avoid the impression they surrendered completely to Trump’s demands.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It IS an FTA

Is it? I thought it hasn't been concluded yet.

but the Japanese government are saying it’s a TAG to avoid the impression they surrendered completely to Trump’s demands.

Yes domestically they are calling it a TAG to appease the vested interests in the agriculture sector, while to the US, UN and foreign media they are saying otherwise.

Where there is double-talk I have no confidence. The Japanese side is probably hoping to buy time until Trump is a lame duck or completely out of office. Trump for his part has set a low bar though, claiming that any sort of agreement will be an improvement.

I won't be expecting changes any time as a result of this.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Well, Trump isn't stupid. He will impose auto tariffs on Japanese cars if he doesn't see quick results from the trade negotiations. That was the agreement the two countries made. If Japan stalls the talks again, they are only asking for trouble.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Trump's face "I say one thing to your face and another on twitter tonight"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Well, Trump isn't stupid.

Yes he is. Your whole reasoning of why you think he isn't is actually the proof of why he is.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

On Tuesday, top trade officials from Japan, the United States and the European Union agreed to cooperate on steps aimed at reining in China's "non-market" economic policies...

I wonder if Japan and the EU would have taken such a stand if Trump had not been president.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The main non-tariff barrier is US companies laziness. Getting into the Japanese market is not easy, but many US companies have succeeded in a big way. They did their homework. How about more US companies doing the same. Especially US automakers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Somewhat surprising how large the trade surplus is considering the large number of US companies very successful in Japan such as: Apple, Amazon, Boeing, Microsoft, Google, Coke, McDonalds, Coach, Gap, Domino's Pizza, Disney, Brooks Brothers, etc.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, Abe managed to worm his way out of the auto tariffs. "Life's like smoking a joiont. The harder you suck the higher you get!"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Make Japanese cars great again!

So I wonder when we will see the new Supra now that Toyota will not have shift funds around out of TRD diversion. Cause the 86 is a joke!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It would pay Japan to be very careful with where this is going. Repositioning himself as the poster child of free trade is all well and good. But it wouldn’t have happened were it not for Trump single handedly putting all the Asian mercantile regimes on notice and, even more to the point, forcing them to acknowledge, that lopsided trade imbalances are unsustainable and that they can no longer take American largesse for granted. If this Sino-Nippon pow wow is merely a delaying strategy that’s all about stringing him along with vague promises they have no intention of ever implementing, in the hope that Trump will inevitably be succeeded by someone amenable to going back to the way things were, such bad faith will cost Japan dearly. Time for both China and Japan to bear the unbearable and accept the unacceptable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You don't necessarily expect Abe to be comfortable shaking hands because it's not the custom in Japan and Japanese people often have trouble with it. But Trump shows us yet again here that he has no idea how to shake hands - always has his own palm facing up in some kind of attempted power play instead of perpendicular to the floor in a respectfully neutral manner.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes domestically they are calling it a TAG to appease the vested interests in the agriculture sector, while to the US, UN and foreign media they are saying otherwise.

So much for 'japanese are soooo honest'¹ masters at duplicity more like

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So temporary save Toyota bosses but throw the farmers under the steamroller

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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