US eager for trade talks with Japan, seeking ‘preferred status’: agriculture secretary

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Japan Times | 5 October 2017

US eager for trade talks with Japan, seeking ‘preferred status’: agriculture secretary

(Jiji) U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue expressed strong hopes on Wednesday that his country would launch trade talks with Japan to expand exports of farm products.

“We’re eager to enter into bilateral trade negotiations with Japan,” Perdue said in a speech delivered in Washington. “We want to bring down high tariffs (in Japan) on beef and pork, and dairy and fruits and vegetables, and many other products.”

The United States is eager to lower trade barriers in Japan “to address the preferences that they seem to have currently” for Australia and other countries, Perdue said.

He also said, “We think our geopolitical relationship with Japan should lead to a preferred status” in trade as well.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump may urge Japan to open its markets further when the two countries hold their second round of bilateral economic dialogue on Oct. 16.

Japan agreed to lower tariffs on U.S. beef in phases in the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement. But Trump pulled his country out of the deal earlier this year, leaving U.S. beef at a competitive disadvantage in Japan to rival products including from Australia.

source: Japan Times