US and Japan discuss speeding up bilateral trade talks


WASHINGTON, Aug 18, 2017 (BSS/AFP) – The US and Japan on Thursday discussed accelerating talks on strengthening bilateral trade as well as bolstering economic relations, the US Trade Representative’s office said.

The meeting comes after US President Donald Trump, upon taking office, withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal with Pacific Rim economies, after campaigning on a protectionist platform.

“We look forward to constructive and vigorous engagement with Japan across many issues to improve trade outcomes for American workers,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said of his talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

The officials also discussed Japan’s recent decision to raise tariffs on frozen beef from the United States, according to the trade office statement.

Lighthizer on Thursday additionally announced arrangements to hold a special joint committee meeting under the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement, slated for August 22.