Officials from Japan and the United States resumed a series of meetings Monday to discuss tariffs on agriculture produce under a Pacific Rim free trade pact, as well as bilateral trade of automobiles.
The Japanese and U.S. officials followed up a meeting of chief negotiators of the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative, which ended Saturday in Ottawa without any breakthroughs on the current impasse.
Hiroshi Oe, Japan’s deputy chief TPP negotiator, and Wendy Cutler, acting deputy U.S. trade representative, began a two-day meeting Monday on the long-standing issue of Japan’s demands to maintain exceptional tariffs on some of its farm products under the TPP.
One of the sticking points in the Japan-U.S negotiations is Japan’s tariffs on beef and pork.
Japan has been considering lowering tariffs on beef and pork, and demanded the United States allow Japan to introduce safeguard measures to protect domestic producers. The measures would limit imports of the products should they surge under the TPP.
Japan also calls for exceptional tariffs on rice, wheat, dairy products and sugar.
Japan and the United States are among the 12 countries working to strike a TPP deal that would cover some 40 percent of global economic output. The others are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
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