US, Japan to negotiate trade agreement

28 Sep '18
2 min read
Shinzo Abe (left) with Donald Trump. Courtesy: website of Prime Minister of Japan
Shinzo Abe (left) with Donald Trump. Courtesy: website of Prime Minister of Japan

Japan recently agreed to negotiate a trade pact with the United States when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly session. In a joint statement, both pledged to “refrain from taking measures against the spirit” of their understanding for as long as negotiations go on.

Japan understands that the agreement implies the United States will not take any action under Section 232, a US legal clause, that allows the country to restrict imports due to concerns over national security, Abe told reporters later.

Abe called for the two countries to ‘reinvigorate’ mutual trade and investment.

“The president is not going to join the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership]. But this is a very important step, in terms of expanding our relationship with Japan,” according to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“The United States and Japan will enter into negotiations, following the completion of necessary domestic procedures, for a United States–Japan Trade Agreement on goods, as well as on other key areas including services, that can produce early achievements,” said the joint statement.

However, a news agency reported that the proposed trade deal will only focus on goods and will not be a full-fledged free trade agreement, a much more complex and time-consuming deal that also looks at the service sector.

Both the nations together make up about 30 per cent of global gross domestic product and have long had trade ties.

In the joint statement, the United States raised concerns about automobile access and Japan highlighted sensitivities over the former’s tightly protected agricultural sector. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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