The United States and Japan announced Wednesday at the United Nations General Assembly in New York that the two nations will be pursuing a mutually beneficial trade agreement.
President Donald Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met in New York in recent days on occasion of the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York. There they issued a joint statement which “affirmed the importance of a strong, stable, and mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship between the United States and Japan, recognizing that [their] economies together represent approximately 30 percent of global Gross Domestic Product”
President Trump emphasized in the statement the importance of reciprocal trade as he has done repeatedly in public with regard to U.S. trade with other countries. He also stressed the importance of reducing the U.S. trade deficit with Japan and other countries. Abe “emphasized the importance of free, fair, and rules-based trade,” according to the statement.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to expand trade and investment between the two nations “in a mutually beneficial manner, including through further concrete steps, as well as to realize free, fair, and open development of the global economy.”
The U.S. and Japan will enter negotiations for a U.S.-Japan trade agreement on goods and “other key areas including services, that can produce early achievements” at the completion of “necessary domestic procedures.” Following the completion of such a trade agreement, the two nations will enter into talks on other trade and investment items.
Each country will respect each other’s positions on specifically identified positions as they pursue a mutually beneficial trade agreement. U.S. commitment to “increase production and jobs in the United States in the motor vehicle industries” is to be respected. “For Japan, with regard to agricultural, forestry, and fishery products, outcomes related to market access as reflected in Japan’s previous economic partnership agreements constitute the maximum level,” the statement details.
“The United States and Japan will also strengthen cooperation to better protect American and Japanese companies and workers from non-market oriented policies and practices by third countries,” the statement went on.
The statement pointed to cooperation not only between U.S.-Japan, but also U.S.-Japan-European Union cooperation “to promote discussions on World Trade Organization reform and e-commerce and to address unfair trading practices including intellectual property theft, forced technology transfer, trade-distorting industrial subsidies, distortions created by state-owned enterprises, and overcapacity.”
The statement alluded to Chinese trade practices President Trump has repeatedly described as “unfair” including forced technology transfer, theft of intellectual property, and trade imbalance.
The two nations committed to conduct negotiations “based on mutual trust, and refrain from taking measures against the spirit of this joint statement during the process of these consultations.” It further committed the nations to expediently resolve tariff-related matters.