US and Japanese negotiators are set to open the first round of trade talks on Monday, in the latest front in President Donald Trump’s aggressive, multi-pronged strategy to address “chronic US trade imbalances.”
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Japan’s Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi will lead the two days of talks starting Monday afternoon.
In Tokyo last week, Motegi predicted the crunch talks would be “candid,” with the first round focused on “making a decision on which areas we will discuss, chiefly in the field of goods.”
The agreement between Trump and Abe said the negotiations initially would address “goods, as well as other key areas including services, that can produce early achievements,” while leaving access for US agriculture to Japan’s market for a later day.
Trump and Abe will have plenty of opportunities to talk trade in the coming months. Abe is visiting the United States later this month and Trump is expected in Japan in May to pay his respects to the country’s new emperor who will take the throne on May 1.
Trump is then expected back in Japan the following month as the western city of Osaka hosts the Group of 20 summit of world leaders on June 28-29.