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U.S., Japan to hold working-level talks to prepare for economic dialogue

Sunday morning’s Nikkei reported that the governments of the U.S. and Japan will hold working-level talks in Washington this week in preparation for the second session of the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue slated for this fall. The paper said trade will be the main topic of the working-level talks, adding that the GOJ is hoping to gauge the stance of the U.S. since it appears to be stepping up its hardline trade policies as seen in the review of NAFTA. The daily said the Japanese side is planning to explain its position and increase bilateral cooperation with the U.S. in view of China’s overproduction. According to the paper, Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs Asakawa will visit Washington on July 23 to meet with Everett Eissenstat, who will serve as President Trump’s “sherpa.” The paper said Finance Minister Aso is also expected to visit the U.S. as early as September to hold a preparatory meeting for the economic dialogue. Noting that President Trump mentioned reducing the trade deficit with Japan and abolishing non-tariff barriers on auto trade during the U.S.-Japan summit held earlier this month, the paper speculated that President Trump may call for concluding a bilateral FTA.

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