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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 April 18 - 24  > Abe accepts Trump’s demand for trade talks leading to FTA
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2018 April 18 - 24 TOP3 [ECONOMY]

Abe accepts Trump’s demand for trade talks leading to FTA

April 20, 2018
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to set up a framework to discuss trade issues in their meeting held on April 17 and 18 at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. It is highly likely that this new framework will become a “source” of further demands from major U.S. businesses.

After the inauguration of the Trump administration, in addition to an economic dialogue involving Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro and his U.S. counterpart Mike Pence, another structure for dialogue led by two nations’ trade ministers was created. These structures will enable the U.S. to make specific demands on Japan.

The U.S. government mainly urges that Japan remove tariff barriers against American automobiles, further open its agricultural market, and increase direct purchase of U.S. weapons.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow under the Trump administration recently told U.S. media that the United States would like Japan to further open up some markets, especially in agriculture.

For the Trump administration, the results of the midterm elections slated for November are enormously important. Seeking to maintain support from farmers, it takes a stance to push the PM Abe-led government to expand imports of agricultural products made in America. The U.S. government will demand the expansion of agricultural imports in accordance with Japan’s compromises in the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement. It is safe to say that any agreement made in a future bilateral negotiation will become more harmful than that in the TPP talks in regard to the interest of the Japanese people and Japan’s economic sovereignty.

Kudlow just ahead of the Abe-Trump summit talks said, “The United States would probably like to see a free trade agreement come out at some point with Japan,” revealing his intent to conduct a Japan-U.S. free-trade agreement.

President Trump in relations with Japan has been taking a position blatantly prioritizing U.S. interests under his “America First” policy and PM Abe has always expressed his support for the president. It is obvious that negotiations between the two governments will bring no benefit to the Japanese people.

Past related article:
> JCP Kami: Japan should refuse negotiations for Japan-US FTA [ April 13, 2018]

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