Trump may sign US-Japan trade deal proclamation next week

The deal improves access to Japan for US farm products and reduces some US tariffs on Japanese industrial goods.

    The trade deal could increase the amount of United States beef and pork for sale in Japan [File:Kim Kyung-Hoo/Reuters]
    The trade deal could increase the amount of United States beef and pork for sale in Japan [File:Kim Kyung-Hoo/Reuters]

    United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Wednesday applauded Japan's legislative approval of limited US trade deals and said that US President Donald Trump was expected to sign an implementing proclamation next week.

    The deal, which improves Japan's access to US farm products such as beef and pork while reducing some US tariffs on Japanese industrial products, does not require approval by the US Congress. Still, Democrats have complained about a lack of information from the White House regarding the deal.

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    "I commend Japan's quick action to approve these important trade agreements between our two nations, which are the world's first and third-largest economies," Lighthizer said after the deal's approval by Japan's National Diet. "We expect the president to sign the implementing proclamation for the United States next week."

    Lighthizer said the deal would benefit US farmers, ranchers and digital services providers.

    The trade representative said the two countries were preparing for the US-Japan Trade Agreement and the US-Japan Digital Trade Agreement to go into effect on January 1, 2020.

    The agreement does not address autos trade, the biggest source of the $67bn US goods trade deficit with Japan. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday told Reuters that Trump has not ruled out imposing tariffs on auto imports, including those from Japan, despite the expiration of a review period last month.

    The trade representative said the US and Japan "will begin consultations early next year in order to enter into further negotiations on a broader trade agreement".

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency