Japan and the United States resumed their negotiations on Wednesday in Washington over U.S. calls for more access to the Japanese auto market under an envisioned Pacific free trade deal.
Trade officials met after Akira Amari, Japanese minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, said last week Tokyo and Washington could hold a ministerial meeting in September on bilateral issues under the U.S.-led pact.
Takeo Mori, Japanese ambassador in charge of economic diplomacy, and Wendy Cutler, acting deputy U.S. trade representative, attended the talks in the U.S. capital to run through Friday.
The United States has urged Japan to remove nontariff barriers such as regulatory standards so U.S. automakers can expand sales in the country.
The Mori-Cutler talks were a follow-up session to the previous round of talks held last month in Tokyo which Mori said wrapped up without major progress.
The envisioned TPP involves Japan, the United States and 10 other countries but solving problems between the two biggest economies in the TPP framework is seen as vital to advance the broad negotiations.
Japan and the United States plan to hold a meeting next week in Tokyo on Japan’s exceptional tariffs on some agricultural produce, another thorny issue between the two countries under the TPP.
The 12 countries which also include Australia, Canada and Mexico have been working on signing a deal early after they missed the primary deadline at the end of last year.
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