U.S. to Promise to Not Hike Tariffs on Japan Autos, Report Says



Isabel Reynolds | Bloomberg

Japan and the U.S. are working toward a joint leaders’ statement that would include a U.S. promise not to hike tariffs or introduce quotas on Japanese cars, the Tokyo Shimbun newspaper said Monday.

The statement is set to be issued after a meeting between President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in New York next week, the paper said. The two leaders are also expected to sign a broader bilateral trade agreement at the meeting.

The threat of punitive tariffs on Japan’s lucrative car industry prompted Abe to agree to bilateral trade talks last year. Trump said last month he wasn’t planning on hiking tariffs on Japan’s autos for the moment, but he didn’t rule out such a move in future.

Japan will reduce or abolish tariffs on U.S. beef, pork and wheat in line with previous agreements under the regional trade partnership rejected by Trump in 2017, the paper reported, without saying where it got the information.

The new bilateral trade deal is set to be finalized at cabinet level before the summit, the Tokyo Shimbun said.

The tariff-free quota allowed for imports of U.S. rice to Japan will be substantially smaller than the 70,000 tons agreed under the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Tokyo Shimbun and the Mainichi newspaper said.

Japan’s tariffs on U.S. wine will be reduced to zero in seven years, the Tokyo Shimbun added, helping it to compete with rivals such as Australia and the European Union, with which Japan already has trade agreements.

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