Sankei speculated that the USG will reportedly use the proposed auto tariffs as negotiating leverage to force Japan to make concessions in the upcoming “free, fair, and reciprocal” (FFR) trade talks. The article claimed that since President Trump appears to be confident that his proposal on imposing additional tariffs on foreign vehicles prompted the EU to agree to start consultations on the elimination of industrial tariffs and to expand imports of American agricultural products, his administration will probably try to employ this “successful model” in future trade negotiations with Tokyo. The paper conjectured that Washington may choose to go ahead with the proposed tariffs if the GOJ tries to procrastinate in the FFR talks.
In a separate piece, the daily explained that Japan probably will not be able to make concessions on agricultural trade ahead of the Upper House election next summer. According to the paper, the GOJ may put forward such ideas as importing additional American LNG and boosting corporate investment in the U.S. in a bid to head off U.S. pressure to seal a bilateral FTA.