Japan, U.S. Agree on Trade Deal; Challenge Remains

Politics

Biarritz, France, Aug. 25 (Jiji Press)--Japan and the United States on Sunday reached a basic accord on a proposed bilateral trade deal featuring cuts in Japanese farm tariffs, but the issue of whether Washington will impose additional tariffs on automobile imports from Japan remains unresolved.

The two economic giants aim to sign the deal in late September, when their leaders meet on the occasion of a U.N. General Assembly session in New York.

In reaching the latest accord, Japan failed to obtain a U.S. pledge to exempt Japanese automobiles and auto parts from possible additional tariffs now being studied by President Donald Trump's administration.

In Japan, the bilateral pact, if signed, will be discussed at an extraordinary parliamentary session that is expected to be convened in October. Pundits say Tokyo's clinching of any deal without a solution to the auto tariff issue could trigger a domestic backlash.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump, meeting on the sidelines of a three-day Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, southwestern France, from Saturday, confirmed the basic trade agreement and respectively instructed officials in Tokyo and Washington to speed up work related to the compilation of the text of the bilateral pact.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press