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Negotiator says U.S. and Japan near ‘final stage’ of trade talks

Japan and the US are entering the “final phase” in a bilateral trade talks negotiations, Japanese negotiator Toshimitsu Motegi said on Wednesday.

The Minister of Economic Revitalization began the recent round of US trade ministerial discussions. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will proceed talks for at least two days ago in the day.

The two nations, still at war with agricultural and manufacturing agreements, aim to achieve any arrangement at a meeting that will take place alongside the United Nations between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump. Session of the General Assembly in New York at the end of September.

The recent conference focused on whether it could iron out variations in tariff opinions in essential industries, including beef and motor vehicles.

“The negotiations are hard as we put our domestic concerns on the line,” Motegi informed journalists following the first day of the discussions which took more than five hours. “But we have confidence in each other, and we could intensify our conversations,” he clarified.

He added that both nations had “removed the residual products on the menu,” without elaboration and said that talks were “entering the ultimate phase gradually.” “We decided to accelerate conversations and operate toward premature outcomes on other problems,” said Motegi.

Separate trade negotiations with China and Europe have produced little progress, and Trump is eager to conclude an earlier agreement with Japan, both to free up the politically delicate agriculture sector and to reduce Japan’s U.S. car imports.

Instead, Japan intends to lower taxes on exports of automobile components and agricultural products by the United States–something Washington hesitates to do.

At a conference, last September, Trump and Abe agreed that the United States would not require more significant reductions in agricultural tariffs as Japan chose elsewhere, like the amended Free Trade Partnership Agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an 11-nation agreement joined into effect that same year.

The amended TPP officially recognised as the Comprehensive and Progressive Partnership Agreement, reduce Japan’s 38.5% meat import tax to 9 per cent over 16 years in phases.

Based on the outcomes of the Washington conference, Abe and Trump are anticipated to address trade at a bilateral discussion on Saturday next to a group of 7 summits conducted in France. Trump seems keen to assert a significant business win to increase his re-election offer in 2020.

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