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Lighthizer, Motegi agree to step up working-level talks, aim for results after Upper House election

NHK reported this morning that USTR Lighthizer and Economic Revitalization Minister Motegi ended their three-hour meeting in Washington. Motegi told reporters after the meeting that they were able to clarify the points to be decided at the ministerial level and both sides agreed that experts should now discuss the technical issues in order to move the trade talks forward. Motegi also said that he will meet with the USTR again before the G20 Summit and that the meeting between Prime Minister Abe and President Trump on the sidelines of the summit will serve to confirm the progress made at the ministerial level. As for the timing of a trade deal, Motegi said: “Both sides have previously agreed to produce results soon after the Upper House election. We are currently conducting various simulations.” However, he refrained from going into the details of the negotiations on agricultural products, autos, and other items.

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