U.S. and Japan face tough trade talks

Tokyo wants to avoid tariffs and quotas for Japanese cars

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (left) and U.S. President Donald Trump. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - After its trade disputes with China and the European Union, the United States is likely to focus on measures targeting Japan next, the Central News Agency reported Friday.

During trade talks likely to take place in Washington, D.C., next week, Japan wants to avoid its car exports becoming the subject of higher tariffs or quota, while the Trump Administration will seek to open up the Japanese agricultural produce market to do away with the US$60 billion trade deficit with the Asian country, the world’s third-largest economy.

Despite their close relationship in dealing with the threats from North Korea and China, Japan was unlikely to go soft on U.S. trade demands, according to CNA. The Abe government did not want to make more generous concessions to the U.S. than were already given to member states of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) or to the EU.

President Donald Trump was planning to visit Japan next month, with a meeting with the soon-to-be new emperor, Naruhito, on his schedule. The government of Prime Minister Abe wanted to avoid having the meeting overshadowed by a trade dispute, CNA reported.

One possibility was a preliminary agreement on easier topics to allow both sides to gain face, while leaving the harder issues to a second round after the accession of the new emperor.