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Japan anxious to cut a deal with U.S. to forestall FTA talks

  • August 6, 2018
  • , Nikkei
  • JMH Summary
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In the first installment of a series on the upcoming “free, fair, and reciprocal” (FFR) trade talks between the U.S. and Japan, Monday’s Nikkei wrote that the Abe administration is bracing for the possibility of the Trump administration ratcheting up the pressure on Japan to seek a bilateral free trade agreement. According to the article, Prime Minister Abe recently told Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Motegi, who will co-chair the new trade talks with USTR Lighthizer, that Japan will never make concessions on the agricultural front. The premier also reportedly instructed Motegi to try to dissuade Washington from imposing additional tariffs on Japanese auto imports. The paper conjectured that in a bid to head off U.S. pressure to enter FTA talks, the Abe administration is aiming to forge a trade deal centering on additional imports of American shale gas and defense equipment.

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