BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – The United States and Japan agreed, in principle on Sunday, with core elements of trade that President U. Donald Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said they had looking forward to signing in New York next month.
The agreement, if finalized, would lead to a trade dispute between the two allies just as war trade increases between the US and China.
The US Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, said that the discussion covered agriculture, industrial tariffs and digital trade. Automatic tariffs would remain unchanged.
Trump said that Japan agreed to buy extra corn that convinces farmers as a result of the tariff dispute between Washington and Beijing. Abe referred to the possible purchase of the cereal and said that it would be dealt with by the private sector.
“It is a big transaction, and we agree in principle. It is billions of dollars. Great for the farmers, ”Trump said to reporters during the joint announcement with Abe at the G7 meeting in France.
The Japanese leader said there was still more work, but he hoped that it would be completed by the time of the UN General Assembly next month.
“There is still some work to be done at the work level, that is to conclude the wording of the trade agreement and to finalize the content of the agreement itself,” he said, through an interpreter.
“But we want to ensure that our staff … builds on the remaining work to achieve this goal of signing the agreement on the edge of the General Assembly at the end of September.”
Lighthizer noted that Japan carries about $ 14 billion worth of US agricultural products and said that the market agreement would open with over $ 7 billion of such products. He said that beef, pork, wheat, dairy products, wine, and ethanol would benefit from the market.
“It will result in significant reductions in tariffs and non-tariff barriers,” he said. He did not detail the industrial and e-commerce aspects of the discussion.
Trump, who said last week that he had ordered U.S companies to start doing business exchanges in China, it seemed to focus on Abe that Japan's private sector would buy over se.S.
“Japan's private sector strongly listens to the Japanese public sector… It's a bit different than it is in our country,” Trump said.
Abe appeared to want to hedge against Trump's suggestion that the purchase purchases were well made, but said that some agricultural products in Japan were affected by insect pests, which necessitated the purchase of certain products.
“We believe that we need to implement emergency support measures for the Japanese private sector to buy American corn early,” he said. “So that is why, in this background, I think we have an opportunity to work together to address this issue.”
Trump is eager to help farmers injured in the trade dispute with China, particularly in political swings that he must support in his offer of re-election in 2020.
Reporting by Jeff Mason; Edited by Lisa Shumaker
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