US and Japan metal tariff exemption is almost non-existent

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump remained at a stalemate on trade issues on Wednesday after two days of talks. The two leaders said they had agreed to begin discussions on what they called “free, fair and reciprocal” trade.


Speaking at a joint news conference at Trump’s Mar-a- Lago resort in Florida, he and Abe have agreed to intensify trade and investment consultations. When asked for clarification on what this meant for the trade deal, both leaders were mysterious.


Trump is working to reduce the $56 billion U.S. trade deficit with Japan by pushing to remove barriers on U.S. exports.


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Abe, on the other hand, said that while he knows that the U.S. is interested in a trade deal, Japan’s position is that the Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership, which the U.S. backed out of last year, is the best for both countries.


Japan has been reluctant over the prospect of a trade deal with the U.S. but Trump clarified that he has little interest in rejoining negotiations over the TPP unless the terms are heavily changed.


Still, Trump did offer a small chance of hope that the U.S. could return to the deal.


Trump did not exempt Japan from steel and aluminum tariffs, as he did for Washington’s other key allies and partners. Although, he did say that a deal could be reached if the trade deficit with Japan could be reduced. This has been a deciding factor.


During Abe’s visit, Trump also sought to reassure him of the pair’s close alliance, as his Japanese counterpart prepares to hold an historic summit with North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, sometime in June 2018.


Trump and Abe spent all Wednesday morning golfing at one of Trump’s nearby courses in their latest show of what has been now called Golf Diplomacy.


Reference:Trump and Abe agree to intensify trade talks, but show little progress on metals tariff exemption


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