Lighthizer Hopes for Japan-U.S. Farm Accord in Weeks

Politics Economy

Washington, June 19 (Jiji Press)--U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Wednesday he hopes to come to an agreement with Japan "in the next several weeks" on lowering tariffs for U.S. agricultural products as part of a new bilateral trade deal currently under negotiation.

At a hearing of the Ways and Means Committee in the House of Representatives, Lighthizer expressed concerns that U.S. agricultural producers are being left at a disadvantage against member countries of the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement over exports to Japan.

"It's a big, big problem, and it's one that we have to take care of in a very swift manner," he said.

"The principal thing we're trying to do...is to get agriculture access equal to what the Japanese have given to the TPP (member countries)," the trade representative said.

The two sides will hold minister-level trade talks next week, on the occasion of the Group of 20 summit meeting in the western Japan city of Osaka on June 28-29.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press