WASHINGTON — U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross indicated Tuesday that it will take time before the United States can start negotiations with Japan for a bilateral trade deal such as a free trade agreement.
“Japan hasn’t yet said that they are preparing to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement,” Ross said at an Economic Club event in Washington.
Ross made the comment as the two governments are reportedly considering holding the second round of a high-level bilateral economic dialogue in October in Washington.
With U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration showing interest in forging an FTA with Japan, the United States could explore the timing of the launch of FTA talks in the next economic dialogue meeting.
If realized, a Japan-U.S. FTA would cover nearly 30 percent of the world economy.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso launched the economic dialogue in April in Tokyo.