Japan-U.S. trade talks likely in D.C. in mid-April

The two sides are still at an impasse over what Trump deems an “unfair” trade deficit. The Japanese and U.S. governments are making final arrangements to hold the first meeting of a new round of trade negotiations on April 15 and 16 in Washington, sources said. Toshimitsu Motegi, minister in charge of economic revitalization, and […]

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US President Donald Trump speaks during a dinner with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida on April 18, 2018. From left is USTR Robert Lighthizer; at right US First Lady Melania Trump. / AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN

April 3, 2019

The two sides are still at an impasse over what Trump deems an “unfair” trade deficit.

The Japanese and U.S. governments are making final arrangements to hold the first meeting of a new round of trade negotiations on April 15 and 16 in Washington, sources said.

Toshimitsu Motegi, minister in charge of economic revitalization, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, among others, are expected to attend the meeting.

While Japan intends for the discussions to center around tariffs on goods, the United States will likely want to discuss a wide range of issues covering areas such as services. Attention is now expected to be focused on how the two governments will narrow the scope of the negotiations.

Tokyo and Washington agreed to start the new negotiating framework during the Japan-U.S. summit talks in September.

The talks initially were expected to be held in January, but were significantly pushed back as the United States was forced to focus on trade negotiations with China.

The Japanese government has focused its negotiations on the reduction and elimination of tariffs toward a trade agreement on goods, or TAG.

“If various circumstances permit, we’re making arrangements to hold [the first talks] in the United States sometime this month,” Motegi said during a press conference after a Cabinet meeting Tuesday.

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