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Japan mulls possibility of tariff talks with U.S.

Staff Writer |
The Japanese government is considering the possibility of entering tariff talks with the United States, apparently aiming to prevent planned additional U.S. import duties from being slapped on Japanese automobiles and auto parts, informed sources said Saturday.

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Through the possible launch of tariff talks with the United States, Japan would show its consideration to the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which is urging the country to correct the huge bilateral trade imbalances and open its markets further by threatening to impose the additional automotive tariffs, the sources explained.

The U.S. side, which hopes to boost exports of beef and other farm products to Japan, has called on the country to go into negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement featuring tariff cuts or elimination.

But Tokyo is expected to take the position that the potential tariff talks will not be FTA negotiations, because domestic farmers are strongly concerned about Japan concluding an FTA with the United States, the sources said.

The Japanese and U.S. governments will hold the second round of their “free, fair and reciprocal,” or FFR, trade talks in New York on Monday.

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