Japan, US target broad bilateral trade deal by September: Nikkei, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Japan, US target broad bilateral trade deal by September: Nikkei

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TOKYO Japan and the US have agreed to target a broad deal on bilateral trade by September, seeking to bridge differences of opinion over tariffs on beef and the automobile sector, the Nikkei business daily reported on Sunday.

As part of a drive to rectify what he claims are unfair global trade imbalances, US President Donald Trump has been urging Tokyo to accelerate trade talks that would open up Japan's politically sensitive agriculture sector, as well as curbing Japan's US-bound auto exports.

The agreement to target a deal by next month was reached during a meeting between Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in Washington DC, the Nikkei said, citing sources.

The paper said both sides hope to have a broad trade deal in place by the time Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets Mr Trump on the sidelines of United Nations general assembly scheduled for later in September in New York.

On Friday, Mr Motegi told reporters after meeting Mr Lighthizer that the two sides made "significant progress" in narrowing their differences on trade and agreed to hold another ministerial-level meeting this month.

Washington seeks early opening of Japan's agriculture sector, including reductions in 38.5 per cent tariffs on US beef imports, while Japan calls for abolition of US tariffs on Japan's industrial goods such as car parts.