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U.S., Japan, EU agree on WTO reform

  • September 26, 2018
  • , NHK
  • JMH Summary

NHK reported on its website that Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Seko attended a “tripolar trade ministers’ meeting” with USTR Lighthizer and European Commissioner for Trade Malmstrom on Tuesday in New York, saying that the three ministers agreed to move forward with WTO reform and are planning to submit a joint proposal to strengthen WTO rules as early as next month. Noting that the Trump administration has been claiming that China has been stealing high-tech technology from the U.S. and is frustrated with the current WTO system, the network said Japan and EU are hoping to ease U.S. dissatisfaction by reforming the WTO and urging the U.S., which has been unilaterally raising tariffs, to act based on international trade rules. Seko reportedly told reporters after the meeting: “Promoting WTO reforms will help to prevent ‘trade wars’ between two nations.” The network said, however, that it remains to be seen whether WTO reform will move forward following the trilateral agreement, adding that attention will be focused on how other nations, including China, will respond.

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