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Japan voices wariness about U.S., China tit-for-tat tariffs

  • April 3, 2018
  • , Kyodo News , 11:44 a.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO — Japan cautioned Tuesday against a potential trade war between the United States and China after the latter imposed tariffs on a range of U.S. imports in retaliation for recent U.S. steel and aluminum import restrictions.


“We have been saying that reacting with countermeasures does not serve any country’s interest, and we will continue to impress this upon each country,” Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said after a Cabinet meeting.


Beijing raised tariffs on Monday by an additional 25 percent on eight U.S. items including pork and an extra 15 percent on 120 other products such as fruit, following a U.S. tariff hike on steel and aluminum imports from China and other countries.


Seko said dealing with global overproduction of commodities is “the real heart of the issue.”


“It would be appropriate to reach a solution in line with World Trade Organization rules,” he said.


Japan, unlike other U.S. allies, has still not been exempted from the steel and aluminum tariffs.


Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will tell U.S. President Donald Trump about Japan’s views on the importance of free trade when the leaders meet in the United States later this month.


“The imposition of reciprocal countermeasures by the world’s largest and second-largest economies has an extremely serious effect on the world’s economy,” Kono said.


“The postwar growth of the international economy comes in line with the development of free trade, and Japan has benefitted greatly from that,” he said.

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