Japan, U.S. Agree to Discuss Digital Trade

Politics

Washington, April 16 (Jiji Press)--In their first round of talks on concluding a new bilateral trade agreement that ended Tuesday, Japan and the United States agreed to discuss digital trade such as e-commerce.

Japanese Economic Revitalization Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also kicked off negotiations on eliminating and reducing tariffs on goods, including agricultural products and automobiles.

Fierce bargaining is expected in forthcoming rounds talks amid calls in the United States for Japan to open its broad services market and introduce a currency provision under the envisaged trade agreement to ban Tokyo from guiding the yen lower to boost exports.

"We got off to a good start," Motegi told a news conference following the two-day meeting in Washington. "We will accelerate discussions in order to accomplish results at an early timing."

He expressed a willingness to meet Lighthizer again next week, with the aim of making a report to a Japan-U.S. summit to be held late April.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press