US and Japan to Begin Working-level Trade Discussions on Agriculture and Industry

Published On :   2019-06-07

According to sources, trade negotiators from the US and Japan will engage in technical talks on agriculture and industry, starting today. Technical aspects of agricultural and industrial trade will be discussed between the officials of the two countries in the US state of Washington. So far, a broad framework for a potential deal has been agreed upon by the two parties, US and Japanese officials say. However, specific details of such an important deal may not be agreed upon until after July 2019 when the Japanese House of Councilors election will be held.

“We’ve agreed to make an effort for narrowing gaps in the positions of the US and Japan. We are aiming to reach an agreement that would benefit both the sides,” said Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s Economic Revitalization Minister.



During the trade discussions, US and Japanese officials may talk about the elimination of or reductions in tariffs on automobile and industrial products and agricultural products such as beef.

US and Japan likely to sign a free trade agreement

US President Donald Trump has been looking to cut down trade deficit with Japan by obtaining improved access to Japanese markets for US automakers and farmers. On the other hand, Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, wants to avoid recession and its effects affecting the Japanese economy. Abe is also looking to keep away from tariffs against the country’s remunerative automotive industry.

International negotiations between the US and other countries have commonly involved tariff discussions. Countries such as Mexico and China were observed to feel the threat of tariffs from the US. However, in the case of the trade talks between the US and Japan, the threat of tariffs may not play as intensely as in other international negotiations because both the countries are more interested in settling on an agreement. Sources say it is likely that the two parties sign a free trade agreement that is beneficial for both of them. This agreement will give US automakers and farmers a larger access to various markets in Japan.

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