Japan, U.K. Ministers Begin Last-Minute Trade Talks

Politics

London, Aug. 6 (Jiji Press)--Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and British international trade secretary Elizabeth Truss on Thursday started last-minute negotiations on concluding a new bilateral trade deal.

Japan is calling on Britain to open its automobile and auto parts markets further, while Britain is seeking more liberalization of Japan's farm market. The ministers are eager to reach a broad agreement in the two-day negotiations until Friday.

Following Britain's exit from the European Union, preferential tariff measures under the Japan-EU economic partnership agreement will expire for Britain at the end of this year.

The British tariff rate on Japanese vehicles, for example, will rise to 10 pct from the current 7.5 pct unless a new bilateral trade pact is put into effect. The two countries began trade deal talks in June, aiming to reach a broad agreement this summer.

Japan hopes to have Britain liberalize its auto and auto parts markets more than under the Japan-EU EPA. Under the EPA, tariffs on Japanese vehicles exported to the EU will be abolished in 2026. The EPA already scrapped tariffs on 92 pct of auto parts from Japan in terms of trade value.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press