Before a summit on April 28 between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Barack Obama, Japan and United State may make a significant trade progress. Long running bilateral trade talks made a significant progress with the achievement of momentum to multilateral efforts toward a free-trade pact, both sides.
U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman after a two day talks with Economy Minister Akira Amari, said that “these talks have helped narrowing the gaps between the two nations but a continuous efforts are needed to resolve the outstanding issues”.
Amari said that the talks are this much successful that they could be welcomed on a summit on April 28 between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Barack Obama.
The negotiations are at the initial stage but continuous effort can make it possible to finalize the agreement, and widening the national interest.
Froman said that the progress in the talks begun with the introduction of momentum to multilateral efforts toward a free-trade pact, both sides. This bilateral deal is considered important for delayed deal in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact, as their economies account for 80 percent of the 12-nation group.
Amari said that the respective Ministries have instructed their officials to work on to get access to Japanese rice market and U.S car market. Amari said if required, he may meet Michael again.
Speaking on a news program, P.M Japan said that some lingering items are hurdling the talks. He wants the negotiations to be successful as soon as possible and for this they will double their efforts.
Amari said that Japan would not accept the US demand to access its rice market as it will affect the local farmers and pressing Washington to open US car market.
Sources say that Japan has fixed rice import quota from its TPP partners and it has set 100,000 tones for U.S but U.S is demanding to double the quota.
Japan wants U.S to cut the 2.5% tax on auto parts import from U.S but Washington wants it to prevail as long as it could under pressure from the politically powerful auto industry,
Prospects for the bilateral deal improved on Thursday, when senior U.S. lawmakers agreed on the wording of a bill to give Congress a yes-or-no vote on TPP but not the power to alter a deal. However, passage of the “fast track” bill, which Japan says is essential, remains far from assured.
Washington and Tokyo see strategic as well as economic value to a broad TPP deal as a counterweight to rising China, which has not joined the group.