The US in no rush to pursue trade talks with Japan

The US is in no hurry to move to the second phase of negotiations with Japan aimed at concluding a bilateral trade agreement. This was stated by the US trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer in an interview with the Japanese newspaper The Asahi, excerpts from which were published on Thursday.

“In due time, we will move on to the second phase of negotiations, but now it is important to overcome the situation with the new coronavirus,” he said. Lighthizer also stressed that the United States is more interested in bilateral trade agreements with other states than Washington's involvement in multinational trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The United States and Japan last year began trade negotiations in a new format, with the participation of then-Minister for Economic Recovery Toshimitsu Motegi, now the country's foreign minister, and US trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer. As a result of the first phase of negotiations, it was reported that Tokyo and Washington as a whole managed to reach an agreement on a trade agreement. In particular, it was noted that Japan agreed to lower duties on American beef and pork, and the United States, in turn, expressed its readiness to postpone the introduction of duties of 2.5% on Japanese cars.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly publicly expressed dissatisfaction with the deficit in trade with Japan, which reaches almost $57 billion a year, and demanded that members of his administration develop measures to remedy the situation. There is still no free trade agreement between the countries.

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