Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence are likely to be at odds next week over U.S. calls to launch negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement, Japanese government officials said Wednesday.
A second round of the high-level economic dialogue, slated for Monday in Washington, comes as the United States is pushing Japan to further open its agriculture and automobile markets as part of an effort to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with the world’s third-largest economy.
Despite differing views on a Japan-U.S. FTA, Aso and Pence are expected to discuss areas for economic cooperation such as Japanese participation in infrastructure projects in the United States, U.S. exports of energy such as liquid natural gas to Japan and promoting high-standard trade rules in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the officials.
The dialogue, which follows the inaugural session in April in Tokyo, will pave the way for a planned trip by U.S. President Donald Trump to Japan and four other Asian countries in November.
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