USTR Wants to Start Trade Talks with Japan in March

Politics Economy

Washington, Feb. 27 (Jiji Press)--U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Wednesday that he aims to visit Japan as early as March to start trade negotiations between Washington and Tokyo.

"We feel a certain urgency" for the trade talks with Japan, Lighthizer said, expressing concerns over a deteriorating environment for U.S. exports due partly to last year's effectuation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade agreement, which includes Japan but not the United States.

Also at a House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee hearing, Lighthizer said there are currency issues in Asian countries including Japan, as claimed by the U.S. automobile industry. He signaled the possibility of discussing the topic with Tokyo.

Some U.S. industry groups are calling for including in an envisioned trade deal a provision to prevent a currency devaluation to gain a competitive advantage in trade and a cap on Japan's vehicle exports to the United States.

The start of the trade talks was agreed on by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump in September last year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press