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U.S., Japan Hold Trade Talks

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

(North American Meat Institute)

U.S., Japan Hold Trade Talks. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi last week held the first round of U.S.-Japan bilateral trade talks in Washington. The two-day meeting was a result of President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's September 2018 joint statement detailing the two countries' intention to enter into trade negotiations. Ambassador Lighthizer and Minister Motegi discussed trade issues involving goods, including agriculture, and the need to establish high standards in the area of digital trade, according to a statement from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The U.S. also raised concerns about its large goods trade deficit with Japan, which totaled $67.7 billion in 2018. The two officials agreed that the U.S. and Japan will meet again in the near future to continue the negotiations.

Meanwhile, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the successor to the Trans-Pacific Partnership from which President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. in January 2017, became effective December 30, 2018, and on April 1 of this year, Japan lowered its tariff on chilled and frozen beef to 26.6 percent for CPTPP countries. In 2018, Japan was the largest export market for U.S. beef by volume and value, and the largest value market for U.S. pork.

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