politics

Japan says gaps remain with U.S. on trade after 'very tough' talks

7 Comments
By Jonas Ekblom

Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Wednesday there were still gaps that needed to be filled before Tokyo and Washington could agree on a bilateral trade deal and that negotiations with his U.S. counterpart were "very tough."

Motegi is visiting Washington, DC, for talks with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, where the two sides hope to narrow gaps on areas such as agriculture and automobiles in order to clinch an early bilateral deal.

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

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

The talks aims to lay the groundwork for a possible meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump, to be held on the sidelines of this weekend's G7 summit in France.

Separate trade talks with China and Europe have made little headway and 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 U.S.-bound auto exports.

Japan, on the other hand, wants the United States to cut tariffs on imports of car parts and industrial goods - something Washington is reluctant to do.

"Discussions are undoubtedly deepening. But there are still gaps that need to be filled," Motegi said when asked whether progress had been made toward an agreement at Wednesday's meeting.

Motegi said he and Lighthizer did not spend much time discussing a timetable on when a deal might be secured.

They will meet again on Thursday afternoon after working-level talks between the two sides, Motegi said.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

7 Comments
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"The talks aims to lay the groundwork for a possible meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump"

Maybe after he climbs further up Trump's backside he'll finally be able to crawl out his mouth and bow this time.

-16 ( +3 / -19 )

For long, I believed in a large country of America, cattles and chickens are raised in their large farms. But a book I recently read tells it is not so. They are grown inside concrete walled industrialized farms. They are grown fast with uses of hormons and lots of anti-biotics used to reduce sicknesses. For grains, genes are controlled. For me, it is a nice thing I will have accesses to American agricultural products. But are they safe?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

About automobiles, there are lots of foreign automobiles driven in Japan. It's just that they are all European or Korean, not American. More than 300,000 foreign automobiles are sold each year in Japan. Maybe the American auto makers should find out what driver's Japanese want.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I like the U.S. I lived there for a decade because of my job.

Still...

The expectations of America is unrealistic, Japan's economy was already affected because of the lost decades. The US is responsible in the late 80s for making Japan signed the unfair treaty which has a direct impact and result to the lost decades.

That's what America is looking for from Japan. Another unfair treaty. The 2.0 trade agreement in favor of the US and at the cost of Japan's economy and people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@vanityofvanities

They are grown inside concrete walled industrialized farms. They are grown fast with uses of hormons and lots of anti-biotics used to reduce sicknesses.

Then washed in chlorine. I'm not sure I want to eat food pulled out of a swimming pool. In fact, I would not even choose to get into a chlorinated swimming pool myself.

Bottomline is, it's idiocy to ship or fly fresh foods all the waya cross the Pacific just to make profits for Chicago and Wall Street investors of pork barrel invested industries. Profits they make only because they don't have to pay for the full impact their industry or shipping on the environment. We do.

Wasn't the UN telling us just last we we've got to reduce our meat intake to approx 10%, for the sake of environmental sustainability?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japanese brand automobiles were national threat to U.S.! That's so much grateful for an ally and a nation invested in America for 50 years!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan, as the rest of the world need to recognise that Trump said America First. this, of course, means to hell with the rest.

Its time nations got a backbone and sidelined the US. As I've said on many occasions, without the other nations support the US is a drop in a bucket. Notice how the US is going around cap in had trying to get support for another coalition? On its own the US is powerless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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