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The Japan Times-Sept 27

The talks between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, resulted in an agreement for the two governments to start bilateral negotiations for a trade agreement on goods (TAG). While concurring to enter bilateral trade negotiations that Tokyo has so far strongly resisted, a joint statement by Abe and Trump said the United States would not impose the threatened higher tariffs on Japanese auto exports — which have been a major source of concern for Japan since it would have had a huge impact on its economy — as long as the TAG talks are under way. The U.S. also said it “respects” Japan’s position that it would not lower tariffs on agricultural imports beyond levels already promised in multilateral trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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First published in: The Japan Times