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Japan, U.S. biz leaders concerned over extra U.S. auto tariffs

Washington, Sept. 18 (Jiji Press) — Japanese and U.S. business leaders Wednesday expressed concerns over protectionist policies by U.S. President Donald Trump, such as possible additional automotive tariffs.

The Japan-U.S. Business Council and the U.S.-Japan Business Council adopted a joint statement to wrap up their two-day conference in Washington from Tuesday.

In the statement, the councils of both countries requested Tokyo and Washington to reject “managed trade and trade restrictions” in a bilateral trade agreement to be signed by the leaders of Japan and the United States as early as Wednesday.

Japanese council Chairman Nobuyuki Hirano, also chairman of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. <8306>, highly evaluated discussions during the meeting and showed his expectation for the realization of the Japan-U.S. trade pact.

U.S. council Chairman Chuck Robbins, chief executive officer at Cisco Systems Inc., termed the planned pact “a great first step” for the two countries to exert leadership in the Indo-Pacific region.

Regarding worries about possible additional U.S. tariffs on Japanese vehicles and U.S. restrictions on the number of car imports, the statement warned that trade restrictions would “cause serious damage to consumers and industries in both countries.”

The statement suggested bolstering Japan-U.S. cooperation to address “market distorting measures, including trade-distorting industrial subsidies,” apparently bearing in mind steps taken by China.

On digital trade, the statement characterized domestic regulations in China and elsewhere to prevent foreign companies from transferring information abroad as “nontariff trade barriers that threaten economic activity.”

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