Japan, US establish framework for trade talks and broader ties

U.S. Trade Representative Katharine Tai and Japanese Commerce Minister agree to work to resolve dispute over U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs as part of further cooperation

A partnership announced earlier this week will also include work on a “common Japan-US global agenda” for trade and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Humanitarian Affairs said. Industry.

The talks between Tai and METI Minister Koichi Hagiuda followed a visit to Tokyo earlier in the week by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. Tai and Hagiuda also agreed to establish a bilateral framework for talks between senior officials of the USTR and Japanese ministries of trade and foreign affairs to discuss trade issues and verify “unfair practices related to third countries.”

“For Japan and the United States, which share values ​​of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, which lead the world economy, it is essential that we strengthen our relationship of economic cooperation,” Hagiuda said.

“In affirming the United States’ commitment to the Indo-Pacific, President Biden underscored that his vision is for an open, connected, prosperous, resilient and secure region,” Tai said.

The effort to settle the tariff issue comes as steel prices have risen as economies shift into high gear after slowing down during the pandemic.

At the same time, major economies have redoubled their efforts to try to curb excess production in both industries.

METI said in a statement that the two sides confirmed their plans for negotiations on the issue of tariffs and the management of global excess production capacity.

He said Tai and Hagiuda also discussed preparations for the ministerial-level talks of the World Trade Organization which are due to start on November 30 in Geneva.

Tai was also due to meet with Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi for talks and a working dinner later Wednesday.

Trump has imposed additional tariffs of 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminum imports, citing the need to protect US industries. This decision angered American allies in Japan, South Korea and Europe.

In meetings with Tai and Raimondo, Japanese officials said they were adamant about resolving the tariff issue.

The US and the EU recently resolved their punitive tariff dispute, with the US agreeing to increase imports from the bloc. The deal helped avoid the imposition of retaliatory EU tariffs on billions of dollars in imports of American products such as Harley Davidson motorcycles and Kentucky bourbon. These duties were to come into effect in December.


Associated Press writer Haruka Nuga contributed.

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