Japan, U.S. at odds over auto, farm tariffs, no talks on quotas

23, May. 2019


WASHINGTON, Kyodo - Japan and the United States on Tuesday remained at odds over tariff cuts on automobiles and agricultural products as part of a bilateral trade deal, according to a Japanese official.

The United States did not refer to quotas restraining Japanese auto exports to the country, the official told reporters after a meeting in Washington.

Officials from the two governments met to lay the groundwork for a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump next Monday in Tokyo.

Bilateral trade and policy toward North Korea are likely to top the agenda in the summit, which is part of Trump's four-day state visit to Japan starting Saturday.

The United States has pushed Japan to further open its farm market, while Tokyo has called for removing Washington's 2.5 percent tariff on Japanese cars. Japan levies no tax on imported vehicles.

Japanese economic revitalization minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer plan to meet or speak by phone ahead of the summit, the Japanese official said.

In a meeting last month, Abe and Trump agreed to aim for a swift conclusion of negotiations for a bilateral trade pact. Motegi and Lighthizer launched the talks in April.

The Trump administration regards the deal as a tool to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with Japan. (Kyodo)