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Japan seeks early trade deal with U.S. to remove future sources of dispute

Mainichi wrote in an analytical piece on Sunday that Japan will seek an early trade deal with the U.S. when bilateral talks begin in Washington on April 15-16 in order to remove future sources of friction. It will reportedly reconfirm the joint statement issued after the Japan-U.S. summit last September because it is wary of the U.S.’ possible reneging on the agreements reached in light of the Trump administration’s threats to impose additional auto tariffs on the EU despite a previous agreement not to do so. The joint statement said that the opening of the market for farm products will not exceed the level under the TPP agreement, that efforts will be made to increase the U.S. auto industry’s production and employment, and that no additional auto tariffs will be imposed while the trade talks are taking place. The critical issues for Japan will reportedly be auto export quotas and U.S. access to Japan’s market for agricultural products on par with or above the TPP level, both of which it intends to reject.

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