By David Lawder
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Japan’s Economic system Minister Toshimitsu Motegi mentioned on Friday he had had productive commerce talks with U.S. Commerce Consultant Robert Lighthizer and that they deliberate to fulfill once more in September.
He mentioned each acknowledged the significance of increasing commerce between the 2 nations.
“We agreed to hunt methods to advertise Japan-U.S. commerce by figuring out gaps between the 2 nations and increase areas to cooperate primarily based on shared understanding,” Motegi instructed reporters after two days of talks in Washington.
“We’ll proceed talks and proceed additional at subsequent assembly we plan to carry in September,” he mentioned.
He mentioned the ambiance of the assembly with Lighthizer was “superb” and “energetic”.
Motegi additionally mentioned he and Lighthizer exchanged views on particular person commerce areas however nothing had been determined.
The U.S. Commerce Consultant’s workplace mentioned in a press release that the 2 sides had “frank discussions” on their respective views about commerce and funding, and achieved a greater understanding of one another’s positions.
“Primarily based on these discussions, either side agreed to discover methods to fill the hole between their positions and to advertise commerce between the US and Japan, and increase areas of cooperation primarily based on widespread understanding,” USTR mentioned, including that the subsequent spherical of “consultations” could be held someday in September.
The talks launched a spherical of what the 2 sides name “free, honest and reciprocal” negotiations. They fall inside broader bilateral financial discussions led by Vice President Mike Pence and Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso.
U.S. President Donald Trump needs a bilateral free commerce settlement however Tokyo is cautious as a result of such an settlement would increase stress to open delicate markets akin to agriculture.
Japan went into the talks aiming to avert steep tariffs on its automobile exports threatened by Trump whereas keeping off U.S. calls for to have interaction in bilateral talks in the direction of a bilateral free commerce settlement. Trump has complained about Japan’s $69 billion commerce surplus with the US, and the lack of American automobile makers to promote vital volumes in Japan.
However Trump’s “Part 232” nationwide safety investigation into automotive imports may result in tariffs of 25 % on imported vehicles, together with these from Japan, and has raised considerations that such a transfer would hurt the Japanese, European and U.S. economies.
Japan additionally has urged Washington to return to the multilateral Trans-Pacific Partnership deal after Trump withdrew the US from the commerce pact final 12 months.
(Reporting by David Lawder in Washington; writing by Kaori Kaneko in Tokyo; modifying by Andrew Roche and James Dalgleish)
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