Trade in Focus

US-Japan Trade Deal Could be Delayed Beyond September?

Posted Wednesday, August 21, 2019 by
Arslan Butt • 1 min read

Trade teams from the US and Japan are all set to meet this week for the next round of discussions towards a trade deal. However, according to sources, neither side appears to be willing to concede on their demands surrounding agriculture and automobile products, which could prolong the wait for a trade deal between the two countries.

Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi is set to meet with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for meetings across two days starting today. These discussions are supposed to lay the groundwork before a possible meeting between Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump at the sidelines of the upcoming G7 summit and later in September.

Trump has repeatedly urged Japan to open up its markets to allow US to export agricultural products. Another key issue between the two countries surrounds Trump’s interest in curbing exports from the Japanese auto sector and into the US markets. Previously, Trump had also threatened to hike tariffs on Japanese cars and auto parts.

According to a report on Reuters, officials from both sides have admitted that there are difficulties in coming to an agreement on these issues. Trump has repeatedly called out US’s leading trading partners, including Japan, to reduce their trade imbalances and provide greater access to their markets for US-made goods.

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