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U.S., Japanese finance ministers to discuss trade issues, including currency clause

  • June 5, 2019
  • , Asahi, Nikkei evening edition
  • JMH Summary

Wednesday evening’s Nikkei wrote that the Department of the Treasury disclosed on Tuesday that Secretary Mnuchin will hold talks with Finance Minister Aso on the sidelines of the G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors to be held in Fukuoka on June 8-9. According to the paper, a senior treasury official reportedly said that the talks will cover many subjects, including trade, and that the United States is eager to hold negotiations with Japan on such issues as a currency clause. Noting that Secretary Mnuchin is also scheduled to meet with People’s Bank of China Governor Yi Gang, the paper speculated that trade will be a core subject of the United States’ talks with Japan and China. The daily wrote that this will be the first time for the Secretary to hold talks with Aso since late April. The paper also wrote that although the United States and Japan are discussing a trade agreement on goods by focusing on autos and agricultural products, Japan is strongly opposed to the idea of introducing a currency clause out of concern that it would reduce the nation’s discretion in currency policy. The paper conjectured that Washington is concerned that imports of Japanese vehicles could increase if the yen depreciates and that Secretary Mnuchin is seeking to introduce a currency clause that will limit currency devaluation. Thursday morning’s Asahi ran a similar report.

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