All weekend papers reported on a USTR announcement on Friday on the goals that the Trump administration aims to accomplish in the upcoming trade talks with Japan, explaining that Washington is set to seek discussions on a number of issues, including provisions on currency and autos, competition policy, investment, intellectual property, e-commerce, and agricultural trade. As the U.S.’s goals cover a range of areas almost equivalent to the comprehensive TPP11 accord, the dailies underscored that the Trump administration appears determined to pursue an FTA with Tokyo, which has stressed that the new trade talks will only address trade in goods.
According to Mainichi, a GOJ source noted that the goals presented by the USTR constitute a wish list and that the scope of the actual negotiations will be decided through bilateral discussions. The daily projected that if the U.S. aims to reach a conclusion by the end of next year, the scope of negotiations may be limited.
Meanwhile, Mainichi published an interview with Nick Giordano, vice president of the National Pork Producers Council, who said his organization is hoping for an early conclusion of bilateral trade talks and that his organization and most other U.S. industrial lobbies will be satisfied if the Trump administration is able to cut a deal with Japan at liberalization levels equal to the TPP11’s.