Japan proposes cutting U.S. farm tariffs to TPP levels.

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During last week’s bilateral trade talks between the US and Japan, Japan proposed reducing tariffs on U.S. agricultural products to the current levels for TPP members.

This would have the impact helping American farmers and ranchers whose imports have become less competitive in the Japanese market compared to their Australian and Canadian counterparts who are part of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (previously known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership).

However, this reduction in agricultural tariffs would require the US to remove US import taxes on Japanese automobiles and vehicle parts.

The two countries met for two days last week but no firm agreement was reached.

Japan and US set for bilateral trade talks in mid-April.

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The US and Japan will hold trade talks on April 15 and 16 in Washington as part of President Trump’s campaign promise for fair and reciprocal trade. Trump will most likely work on resolving the large trade deficit with Japan.

The US would like to see increase US beef exports while Japan said the trade talks will only cover goods only and not agriculture.

It will be interesting to see how the talks proceed – Japan is already a party to the 11-member agreement formerly known as the Trans Pacific Partnership along with an economic partnership agreement with the EU.

US and Japan will negotiate a free trade agreement.

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During the UN meeting this week, the US and Japan agreed on Wednesday to negotiate a separate bilateral trade agreement between the two countries. While Japan is part of the Trans Pacific Partnership, the agreement by Japan to negotiate may be an effort to avoid the risk of tariffs on Japanese goods to the US – especially automobiles. This agreement to negotiate is a shift from Japanese economic policy as in the past Japan has not expressed interest in talking to the US.