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U.S., Japan to Accelerate Trade Talks Towards Agreement

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The U.S. and Japan this week agreed to accelerate trade talks to advance a trade agreement. The first round of talks focused on agriculture and cars, according to Bloomberg News. Japan’s Economic Revitalization Minister will meet again next week with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to continue the negotiation. Japan is seeking to avoid U.S. tariffs on cars exported to the U.S., while President Trump is seeking greater access for agricultural goods to Japan and many measures similar to those found in the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Farm groups are pressing the administration to reach an agreement quickly to counter lost market share in Japan from competitors that were included in the TPP replacement. Trump removed the U.S. from TPP upon taking office, and the member countries moved forward with an agreement that allowed Japan to import 60 percent more beef from TPP nations. Further, U.S. pork exports to Japan have dropped around 35 percent this year, since the new TPP agreement was enacted.