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U.S. sounds out Japan on launching FTA talks

  • April 16, 2018
  • , Nikkei
  • JMH Summary
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Monday’s Nikkei claimed that the USTR has already proposed to Japan that the two nations begin talks on a bilateral free trade agreement, quoting an unnamed senior USTR official as saying: “We have made repeated requests to Japan for the launch of FTA talks. The only remaining issue is the timing.” The paper asserted that the White House is anxious to hold FTA negotiations with Tokyo ahead of the midterm elections in November since the agricultural and other lobbies are strongly demanding such talks. The daily speculated that in pursuing an FTA, the Trump administration may ask Japan to agree to adopt “managed trade,” such as a clause designed to deter competitive currency devaluation and voluntary restrictions on auto and other exports. A source connected to the White House reportedly stated: “The U.S. auto industry is calling for measures to curb currency devaluation by Japan.”

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