US Shows Keen Interest in Starting FTA Talks with Japan (News)


Washington, Oct. 16 (Jiji Press)—US Vice President Mike Pence expressed keen interest in starting talks on a bilateral free trade agreement with Japan during the second round of the two countries' economic dialogue here on Monday, according to Japanese government officials.

It was the first time for Pence to show such an intention during the dialogue with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Asō Tarō, also finance minister. The vice president discussed the possibility of the Japan-US FTA in a press conference after the first round of the dialogue in Tokyo in April.

This suggests that the US side may start making specific demands on the FTA ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit to Japan in November, as the president is keen on reducing the US trade deficit.

Meanwhile, Asō explained to Pence about the significance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, the officials said.

Japan, which has been seeking the United States' return to the TPP, takes a cautious stance on the launch of FTA talks and is eager to promote Japan-US leadership in rulemaking on trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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