Japan and the United States remained apart Friday over the issue of whether Japan can allow U.S. automakers more access to the domestic market under an envisioned Pacific free trade deal, a Japanese official said.
“We made some progress but reached no new agreement,” Takeo Mori, Japanese ambassador in charge of economic diplomacy, told reporters in Washington after three days of negotiations with Wendy Cutler, acting deputy U.S. trade representative.
The gap over auto trade is a contentious bilateral issue related to the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal along with differences over Japan’s exceptional tariffs on some agricultural produce.
Mori said the issue of settlement of international disputes was among topics in the latest round of talks with Cutler, but declined to go into further details.
Mori said he and Cutler are likely to discuss the schedule for future negotiations over the auto issue in Tokyo next week as she will be heading for the Japanese capital for talks on farm products with Hiroshi Oe, deputy chief TPP negotiator, on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The 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.
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