Japan and the United States launched bilateral trade negotiations Wednesday on autos and nontariff barriers in parallel with the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks Japan joined last month.
In the three-day discussions in Tokyo, the two largest economies involved in the TPP talks will discuss auto safety standards, insurance and intellectual property among other topics.
The Japanese delegates include Takeo Mori, ambassador for economic diplomacy, while the U.S. delegation is headed by Acting Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Wendy Cutler.
Saying she brought a “strong team” with her, Cutler told officials at the negotiation table, “We have a lot of work to do, we need to do it quickly, and we need to discuss constructively.”
“We look forward to having fruitful discussions,” said Mori at the start of talks.
The first round of the bilateral, parallel negotiations kicked off after Japan became the 12th member of the TPP talks on July 23 upon the completion of U.S. domestic procedures to start trade talks with Japan. Japan entered the TPP talks near the end of the 18th round, held in Malaysia.
In a related move, the U.S. Trade Representative announced Tuesday its ambassador Michael Froman will visit Japan on Aug. 19 for talks with Cabinet members on the key sectors in the TPP negotiations.
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