Japan and the United States will seek to narrow gaps on trade when their top negotiators meet this week, but hopes for a deal in September are fading as both sides fail to make concessions on agriculture and automobiles, sources say.
Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will hold two-day talks in Washington D.C. from Wednesday, which will be their second meeting this month.
The talks aim to lay the groundwork for a possible meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of a Group of Seven summit later this month in France, where the two could discuss trade.
As separate trade talks with China and Europe have made little headway, Trump is keen to clinch an early deal with Japan that would open up its politically sensitive agriculture sector, as well as curbing Japan’s U.S.-bound auto exports.
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